Zambia has sufficient stock of grain – Lubinda

Lubinda, who is Kabwata PF member of parliament
Lubinda, who is Kabwata PF member of parliament

Government says the country has sufficient stocks of maize to meet domestic demand and for export.

According to statement made available to ZANIS, Agriculture and Livestock minister Given Lubinda revealed that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA ) has a total of 1,281,000 metric tonnes of maize in its national reserves  while the private sector has also over 156,000 metric tonnes of maize stocks.

Mr Lubinda further explained that the current mealie meal prices are not as a result of insufficient maize stocks in the country but rather as a result of production related costs.

The minister said government through the FRA will continue to make maize available to the private sector at a price of 76 kwacha per 50Kg bag.

Meanwhile Mr Lubinda has commended Millers for agreeing to maintain the wholesale price of mealie meal at a maximum of 61 kwacha per 25kg bag of breakfast along the line of rail.

And commenting on roller meal, the minister stated that the price of roller meal will not exceed 44 kwacha per 25Kg per bag.

Mr Lubinda has since appealed to retailers across the country to stick to the recommended retail  price of both breakfast and roller meal.

He also urged consumers to purchase mealie meal from milling companies outlets that stick to the recommended retail price.

On wheat, the minister said the 2013/2014 crop forecast survey figures showed that the country would experience a deficit in wheat production.

Mr Lubinda disclosed that  the demand for wheat has increased  locally and within the region.

He stated that the local wheat production for 2014 will not be sufficient to meet the country’s requirements as well as exports.

The minister disclosed that the projected wheat deficit between April and August this year will be 150,000 metric tonnes.