Maize millers have announced that they have put to halt the production of government’s subsidised mealie-meal after their supplier, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) hiked maize prices.
Ironically, maize producer prices remain paltry and unchanged a situation that has seen many farmers ditching the crop during the 2019/20 farming season.
The development was announced by the chairperson of the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) Tafadzwa Musarara who said millers are seeking a way forward. He said:
The supplier price of maize went up from $6 000 a tonne to $12 400; that’s over 100% increase. So millers have stopped supplies of subsidised roller meal until government addresses the issues.
The development comes when there is already an acute shortage of mealie-meal in the country following a poor farming season.
With limited supplies, the prices of the commodity are expected to sharply rise, a scenario that will further deteriorate the living standards of the general populace.
Meanwhile, there is no signal from authorities so far to suggest that the government will introduce any package to cushion the citizenry from the effects of the national lockdown that was imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.