GMAZ Predicts Fall In Mealie-Meal Prices

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

THE price of mealie-meal is set to go down drastically for the next three months following a bumper harvest among both commercial and subsistence farmers this year.

The government is expecting to harvest 2,8 million tonnes of maize for the 2020/21 agricultural season following the good rains that pounded the country in recent months.

Addressing journalists in Bulawayo Thursday, Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) chairman Tafadzwa Musarara said millers should brace for cutthroat competition in the sector because of the abundance of the staple on the market.

“Some households have got maize especially the urban areas. The demand for mealie-meal from the shops is going to depress as they will be self-sufficient.

“So, within the next three months, prices of mealie-meal are going to go down because, among ourselves, there might be cutthroat competition as supplies depress,” said Musarara.

The GMAZ boss predicted prices will pick up around September when some people have exhausted their harvest.

“The most important thing is that consumers are benefitting. They have an option of taking their grain to the mills. But we think by September, as we enter the festive season, demand will start to surge.

“We anticipate that commercially, we will enter a low peak season perhaps in the next three to four months, but it will recover as we go. That is a manifestation of a free economy,” he said.

Musarara also revealed local farmers have so far delivered about 60 000 tonnes of maize to government cereal agent, Grain Marketing Board.

“At the moment, the majority of maize is at moisture content of between 13 and 16 percent and we were blessed with some rains in the past 10 days and again, it increased the moisture content.

“GMB currently, I think they are now passing the 60 000 tonnes mark,” he said.