‘Prisons milling plant construction to start soon’

THE Zambia Prisons Service (ZPS) will soon start building a state-of-the-art milling plant in Petauke with a capacity to meal 200 metric tonnes of maize per day, acting ZPS commissioner general Lloyd Chilundika has confirmed.
The project is independent but complementary to the small solar milling plants being set up by the Zambia Co-operative Federation (ZCF) countrywide.
Mr Chilundika said in an interview yesterday that the move will significantly reduce the price of mealie meal in Eastern Province.
“Yes, I can confirm that this project is under way and we hope that the President will commission it in a few months’ time,” Mr Chilundika said.
Production in Eastern Province is above 500,000 metric tonnes per farming season, making it suitable for agro-industrial boom.
“Once fully operational, the milling plant is expected to offer competitive prices for mealie-meal and maize bran to the general public across the country,” Mr Chilundika said.
Another benefit for the locals from the construction of this industrial milling plant is the creation of a ready market for farmers in Eastern Province unlike now when they are dependent on the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).
Mr Chilundika said the project will also spur increased poultry and dairy farming due to the availability of maize bran.
Currently, the Eastern Province relies on a recently launched private mini-milling plant for its mealie meal and also sends its maize to Lusaka for milling and thereafter, the mealie meal is transported back to the province.
The project will also assist the FRA reduce their storage costs and wastage.
Neighbouring countries – Mozambique and Malawi – are expected to import the ZPS mealie-meal.

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