President Lungu warns Millers creating artificial shortage

President Edgar Lungu has advised millers desist from hoarding maize and creating an artificial shortage of the commodity.

President Lungu says the government is aware of such schemes aimed at further increasing the price of mealie meal, which he says will fail because of various measures put in place such as taking stock of available maize.

He said government through the Zambia Statistics Agency is formerly known Central Statistics Office has conducted a survey on food security which Minister of Agriculture Michael Katambo will soon update the nation on.

Commissioning the new 20-million-dollar African Milling Maize plant in Lusaka today, President Lungu said the plant will increase maize processing hence noted the need to address load shedding challenges.

He advised other Milling plants to emulate African Milling which has also diversified into input distribution which makes it easier to mop up maize for production.

And President Lungu further advised Milling plants to put in place measures of buying maize from farmers and stop relying on the Food Reserve Agency -FRA- whose core business is buying maize for strategic reserves.

He also noted that the expansion in milling plants in the country is a clear indication of growth in diversification.

And, African Milling says the commissioning of the milling expansion plant is a wave of hope to Zambians amidst increased mealie meal prices.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo called on farmers to position themselves and benefit from increased demand of maize owing to increased demand.

Mr Katambo, however, noted that low productivity levels have affected farmers.

And, Lusaka Province Minister, Bowman Lusambo said his office is impressed with the increase in food processing plants opening up in the province.

He expressed optimism of mealie meal prices further reducing owing to an increase in the number of milling plants opening up coupled with an anticipated maize bumper harvest.

Alice Nachilembe

Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.

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