We entirely agree with the Food Suppliers Association of Zambia that the price of mealie meal should come down.
Zambia cannot be the only country which does not respond to international economic variables such as the reduction in the price of fuel.
There is no question that fuel is perhaps the largest component in the cost of production.
It is not true that our economy is impervious to international pressures and variables.
Given this circumstance and what has transpired in the last one month, Zambian millers have no excuse but to reduce mealie meal prices as their major cost in the production chain has been reduced.
Millers use a lot of fuel to source maize and also to deliver the finished product – mealie – meal to various outlets.
Fortunately for millers and other motorists, their prayers have been answered as fuel pump prices were reduced a month ago.
The Energy Regulation Board explained that the reduction of pump prices of fuel was as a result of falling prices on the international market.
The pump price of petrol was dropped from K9.89 to K7.60 representing a reduction of K2.29, a percentage of 23.13 downwards.
Diesel and kerosene pump prices reduced to K6.59 and K4.69 from K9.18 and K6.77 respectively, representing a reduction of K2.59 and K2.08 respectively.
This being the case, we urge the millers to consider a reduction in mealie meal prices to make the staple food affordable.
It is erroneous to argue that they cannot reduce prices because the transporters have not reduced their charges for all we know that most of the millers have their own delivery vehicles.
Millers Association of Zambia president Allan Sakala should go for the second option of holding a stakeholders meeting to come up with the way forward in the pricing of mealie meal.
The millers should not invite Government to force them to comply with market demands.
We do not understand the argument by millers of maintaining the current mealie meal prices in the midst of reduced cost of fuel when they are the ones who are in the forefront of hiking the commodity’s prices when there is an increase in pump prices of fuel.
People of different nationalities have their own different staple foods and since Zambians hold Nshima high on their menu, the commodity should be made cheaper.
It is laughable that while experts have over the years projected bumper harvests, this does not translate into lower prices of the commodity.