New meal prices received with mixed feeling in Chipata

Mealie Meal

The announced revision in retail prices for mealie meal by government has been received with mixed feelings by both traders and consumers in Chipata district in Eastern province.

Those talked to by ZANIS in the central business district have expressed divergent views on the matter with others alleging that the increase will only benefit traders.

Joseph Chilangwa, a mealie meal a trader in Kapata market, said the decision by government will help in cushioning the mealie meal shortages that had hit most parts of the country.

Mr Chilangwa noted that the recent mealie meal shortage was caused by traders who stopped to order mealie meal because of the losses that they were recording.

He explained that it had become unprofitable for traders to continue selling mealie meal at KR50 for a 25 kg bag of breakfast considering the costs incurred to transport the commodity from the millers to consumers.

He said there are a lot of hiding costs attached hence the revised KR55 is good news for traders as they will be able to make a bit of profit after selling their stocks.

But the consumers have expressed concern that the increase in mealie meal prices will affect them negatively as mealie meal was a basic need for most households.

Saliya Banda said prices for any maize products in the country should be kept low, adding that this is because maize was a staple food and should be accessed by all Zambians.

Ms Banda said with the increase in the cost of living many people find it hard to afford three meals in a day but now the KR5 increment in the prices of mealie meal it would make the situation worse.

Yesterday Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Robert Sichinga, announced a revision in the retail prices of mealie meal from KR50 to KR55 for a 25 kg bag of breakfast meal.