The National Association for smallholder farmers is irked with Zambia’s failure to address high mealie meal prices that have continued to soar unabated despite the country boasting of experts that have the potential to solve the challenges leading to this situation.
Association Executive Director Dr. Frank Kayula says stakeholders expect both the experts and the government to realize that mealie meal prices can only be stabilized through sustainable long-term measures and not the unsustainable short-term interventions that the country has been subjected to over time.
Dr. Kayula tells Phoenix News that the intermittent injection of cheap maize from the Food Reserve Agency-FRA to millers, is an unsustainable short-term solution that will continue disadvantaging consumers while creating constant headaches for the leadership.
He says the government must address the problem core which points to expensive maize, the main ingredient in mealie meal production, which escalates the cost of production.
Dr. Kayula adds that the cost of production for mealie meal is exacerbated by expensive chemical fertilizers which gobble more than 65% of the total costs of maize production and thereby causing high prices for the commodity on the market.