Mitigate high food prices-CAPIZ

Government should find better ways of mitigating the effects of high food prices which have contributed to increasing hunger among the citizens, says Christian Against Poverty in Zambia (CAPIZ) president Gregory Chileshe.

He said the basic food items were becoming expensive, calling for an urgent response to address cost of food.

Mr Chileshe said it was unfortunate that even though the 2013/2014 farming season recorded a bumper harvest, the price of mealie meal was expensive.

He said the current average cost of mealie meal pegged between K70 and K80 was too high for the ordinary Zambians who were struggling with high levels of unemployment.

He said if measures were not put in place, the people of Zambia would start buying mealie meal at more than K100.

Mr Chileshe said so far, nothing much had been done to ensure that poor Zambians did not suffer adverse shocks of price changes.

He said it was impossible to be dependent on relief food because several areas country-wide were recording shortages of food.

“Several areas have recorded hunger situations, following poor rainfall due to a combination of factors that have affected the agriculture sector in the country, and the relief food cannot cater for all the people in this country,” Mr Chileshe said.

He said there was a serious need for reorganisation of the agriculture industry that currently was a letdown to farmers.

Mr Chileshe said poor planning of the agriculture sector was unacceptable as poor Zambian farmers were the ones left to deal with the problems.