CONSUMERS must prepare for the inevitable price hikes in commodities such as mealie meal due to low production caused by load shedding, says Millers Association of Zambia president Allan Sakala.
Mr Sakala said the recent announcement by ZESCO warning the public to prepare for more load shedding would also force millers to increase prices of mealie, and other commodities.
He said the rise in commodity prices would come about due to reduced production which will push demand by consumers.
“With persistence load shedding, people must expect prices of commodities such as mealie meal to go up as the situation is inevitable, many people will be chasing fewer products on the market,” he said.
He explained that extra energy to produce commodities meant high expenditure on equipment and production hence affecting the price of products.
Mr Sakala said the association would soon meet to consider price increase of mealie meal.
“The increase will be announced soon although we have not yet started discussions at the moment but be assured that the price increase is certainly coming,” he said.
He however said millers were not happy to increase prices as some consumers will not afford to buy the staple food, adding that similarly millers will face low sales volume and make losses.
ZESCO this week warned members of public to prepare for more load shedding as it had further reduced generation of power from around 540 megawatts to 305 megawatts due to low water levels at the Kariba Dam.
The power utility firm said continued generation of power from Kariba of around 540MW would have meant completely shutting down the power plant sooner or later.