The Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF), an organization in charge of coordinating the development, representing and establishing business functions of the cooperatives across the country, has recently received 100 more units of equipment to continue with the set-up of solar-powered mini-milling plants in Zambia.
The equipment received is part of a USD 21 million initiative fully funded by the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ), which was proposed in 2013 by the ZCF and is meant to set up 2,000 mini-milling plants in 25 districts of the country’s ten provinces that have the most potential for maize production by June, 2016.
In addition, the program seeks to support the industrialisation of rural areas using the agriculture produce processing activities as part of a ZCF’s five-year strategic plan to establish the industrial clusters that the government wants to achieve.
During January, 2016, 400 more units of equipment will be received to keep the setting up of mini-milling plants that will have a capacity production of 2 tonnes per day, explained ZCF Director General James Chirwa.
The ZCF will support the mini-milling plants by buying 2 million tonnes of maize per year to place on the market and contribute with the reduction of mealie meal prices and decongest the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), whose reserves demand high funds from the treasury, Mr. Chirwa added.
According to ZCF, three units are currently operating in Solwezi, Luapula and Kasama in the country’s northern region.
The offload of mealie meal in those markets by the ZCF has reduced its price from ZMW 80 per 25 kilogram bag to ZMW 45 per 25 kilogram bag.
According to Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations, Mr. Amos Chanda, further actions will be soon announced by President Edgar Lungu to ensure that the mealie meal price will be brought down further after they rose in the last months of 2015.