A further reduction in prices of mealie meal will address the challenges faced by many households in Zambia, says the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) media and information officer for Copperbelt and Northern region, Tendai Posiana.
She said it was the responsibility of the Government to institute improvement efforts that would mitigate escalating poverty and hunger in the country.
Ms Posiana said most of the households were still finding challenges to manage three meals a day, saying the affordability of the staple food was the only way to address the situation.
She urged the Government to find means of ensuring that whenever there was a reduction in prices of essential commodities, both the traders and consumers benefitted.
Ms Posiana said the reduction of mealie meal prices should be felt by the ordinary people because they were the ones who felt the impact.
“It is sad that most families are still failing to afford the cost of two 25kg bags of mealie meal which the JCTR Basic Needs Basket of February 2015 estimated at K142.80 for Kitwe, K132.66 for Luanshya, K138.66 in Mansa, K138.56 for Ndola and K152 in Solwezi.
“Apart from the cost of food, we pray that Government will effectively address the cost of doing business which continues to fuel the cost of non-food items,” she said.
Agriculture and Livestock Minister Given Lubinda on Tuesday directed Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to off-load one million metric tonnes of maize on the market to allow for further reduction of mealie meal prices.
Mr Lubinda said Government would subsidize the price of new stock of maize for the 2015/2016 farming season because there was a sharp increase in the price of mealie-meal in the last few months to the dissatisfaction of the consumers in the country.
He said millers have agreed to reduce the wholesale price of mealie-meal from K61 to K56 for a 25kg bag of breakfast meal along the line of rail, while the wholesale price for roller meal will not exceed K37 for a 25kg bag.