State produce marketor Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) CEO Foster Mulumbe has ruled out bringing down the price of maize pegged at K12500 per bag unless parliament finds donors who can subsidize the price of the stapple food.
Mulumbe said this on Wednesday when he appeared before a parliamentary inquiry on maizegate.
“I am asking the honourable members to get us people who can subsdize the prices,” he said.
He said Admarc spent close to K30 billion buying the 106 million metric tonnes locally and has a deficit of K6 billion.
Mulumbe defended the current maize prices which he said were pegged just to recover the money which Admarc borrowed to buy the maize.
However Mulumbe said Admarc might not be able to repay the PTA loan because people are not buying the maize which they say is very expensive.
He said Admarc has sold just 6 000 tonnes out of the 106 million tonnes.
Mulumbe seemed clueless as to where the state grain marketer will get the money from to repay the loan.
“The plan was that we buy the maize and within three months we repay the loan,” he said.
Mulumbe and Agriculture minister George Chaponda are facing investigations over the procurement of the maize from Zambia. Mulumbe is on forced leave whilst Chaponda is on High Court ordered suspension.