FRA public relations officer Daniel Msoka said in an interview yesterday that contrary to views of certain stakeholders that FRA was not releasing maize on the market, the agency has offloaded 30,838 tonnes of maize.
Mr Msoka said of the 50,000 tonnes FRA had said it would release, it has so far offloaded more than 30,000.
He said the agency had received 23 applications from millers that wanted to buy maize.
Mr Msoka said FRA had also released maize for community sales to the District Commissioners’ offices in Shang’ombo, Mongu, Pemba and St Francis Secondary School in Mongu.
“It is not true that some millers are not producing mealie-meal because FRA has not released the maize. We have released maize to millers and for community sales,” he said.
Mr Msoka said not all millers have applied like Mwasimu Milling in Livingstone, whose director was reported in the media to have said that FRA was not releasing maize.
Some millers on Monday said they were forced to hike mealie-meal prices because FRA had not released maize on the market.
They said maize from other sources was too expensive.
Some towns like Livingstone and Ndola have been experiencing shortage of mealie-meal while most of the mealie-meal that was on the market was going for as much as K75 for a 25 kilogramme bag of breakfast.
Consumers have complained of non-availability of mealie-meal and the high price at which the commodity was going at.
Recently, the Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) said a 25 kilogramme bag of breakfast mealie-meal would cost about K68 because millers were buying maize at a high price of about K1,700 per tonne from FRA.
But Agriculture and Livestock Minister Bob Sichinga said the hiked mealie-meal prices were unjustified because there was no shortage of maize in the country.
Times of Zambia