Lusaka, 30 August, 2023 / 4:17 pm (ACI Africa).
Officials of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) are calling on the Zambian government to set up strategic reserves of food and essential commodities to cushion the Southern African nation against price fluctuations and supply shocks.
In their Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket (BNNB) statement outlining the cost of living for July 2023, the Lusaka-based Jesuit scholars say the price of Zambia’s staple food, mealie meal, has exceeded the monthly disbursement of K200 (US$10.00) per household provided under the Social Cash Transfer meant to boost the resilience of vulnerable families.
“The Centre therefore calls upon the government to establish strategic reserves of essential commodities like mealie meal to buffer against supply shocks and price fluctuations,” JCTR officials say in the statement shared with ACI Africa Tuesday, August 29.
JCTR officials say the government can also promote increased cultivation by offering financial support to farmers.
The Jesuit scholars call upon Zambia’s government to “quickly put in place strategies to reduce the cost of farming inputs aimed at bolstering maize production and other key cereals, in order to incentivise local farmers and to enhance domestic supply.”