Monday, January 07, 2013

Sata to meet millers

Sata to meet millers
By Henry Sinyangwe
Mon 07 Jan. 2013, 14:00 CAT

MILLERS will today meet President Michael Sata to discuss mealie-meal prices, according to sources.

Sources said the millers want to raise issues of mealie-meal price controls which had the potential of harming the farming sector. And Millers Association of Zambia president Allan Sakala remained mute on the meeting.

Sakala said the millers had heeded to President Sata's directive to all millers to reduce wholesale prices to KR50 (K50,000) or less.

"From the millers' perspective, we have decided to comply with the presidential directive of pegging the wholesale price of a 25kg bag of mealie-meal at K50,000 (KR50) . We decided to do this on Friday," Sakala said.

He said the government should closely monitor the prices at the wholesale and retail stages to ensure that consumers are not exploited.
Sakala said retailers were only allowed a KR3 (K3,000) increment in view of transportation costs.

"We will be engaging government to see to it that they closely monitor the traders. As millers, we are just producers of mealie meal; we are not supposed to be doing the selling, and we do not want to shut out the traders," he said.
Agriculture minister Emmanuel Chenda called on millers to open up additional outlets to counter the problem of traders who the millers have blamed for the high mealie-meal prices.

President Sata warned millers that government would re-introduce price controls if they continued to exploit consumers by selling mealie-meal at K80,000.

He warned that any retailer or miller selling mealie- meal at more than 50,000 risked having their licences revoked.

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