GOVERNMENT will subsidize the price of new stock of maize for the 2015/2016 farming season because there was a sharp increase on the price of mealie-meal in the last months to the dissatisfaction of the consumers in the country, said Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Given Lubinda in Parliament yesterday.
And Mr Lubinda lifted the ban on importation of wheat to enable more cereal into the country.
Mr. Lubinda accused both the maize and wheat traders in the country of “holding-on” to the two cereals at un-subsidized prices (old stock) hence panic buying among the consumers.
He said this in a ministerial statement on sale of maize and importation of wheat.
The minister said there were sufficient stocks of maize available to meet domestic requirements with a significant surplus for export.
“Last farming season, the country produced 3,350,00 metric tonnes of maize resulting in a surplus of 1,152,505 metric tonnes,” Mr Lubinda said.
He said Government had sufficient stocks of maize to meet the country’s national requirements.
And Mr Lubinda said millers have agreed to reduce the wholesale price of mealie-meal further from K61 to K56 for a 25kg bag of breakfast meal along the line of rail.
He further said the wholesale price for roller meal will not exceed K37 for a 25kg bag.
The minister also disclosed that wheat production in the country had increased over the past five years due to heavy investment that had been made by the commercial farmers.