KALABA TIPS GOVT ON MEALIE MEAL SHORTAGES, HIGH PRICE
CITIZENS First (CF) president Harry Kalaba has said the only way to reduce the price of mealie meal and end shortages of the staple food is to increase maize production.
And Mr Kalaba says the only way to increase production of maize in the country is to help small-scale farmers with simple mechanical implements and affordable farm inputs.
He said in a statement, Monday, that besides empowering small-scale farmers with mechanisation and cheap farm inputs, government should bring back state farms which should be managed by the Zambia National Service (ZNS).
The CF leader disclosed that there is a shortage of mealie meal on the Copperbelt and North-Western Province triggering further increases in the price of the commodity.
He said in some parts of the country, the price has jumped to between K300 and K500 for a 25 kilogram bag.
About two months ago, Mr Kalaba warned that the maize released to the Zambia National Service (ZNS) was not a solution because the grain would run out in two months.
“There was a lot of excitement when the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) released 250,000 metric tonnes of maize to millers. Our friend in the UPND went to town praising themselves that they had solved the problem. But I warned them not to be excited because that was going to last only two months. We are back to the same situation,” he said.
Mr Kalaba said once in government, the CF would encourage citizens to take up farming at household level by making land easily accessible to them, as well as providing cheap inputs and small tractors.
The price of the staple food has risen from K120 in 2021 to an average of between K200 and K500, sparking a public outcry.
Some stakeholders have warned that if not decisively addressed, the escalating cost of living could cause instability in the nation.
CITIZENS FIRST MEDIA