ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
THE Zambia Co-operative Federation (ZCF) has received over 1,000 solar-powered hammermills out of 2,000 components for installation across the country under the Presidential Milling Initiative.
In 2015, President Lungu said Government is working with ZCF to set up hammermills to help reduce the price of mealie-meal and that the initiative will create over 3,000 jobs for Zambians.
Government, with support of China, plans to buy about 2,000 hammermills at a cost of US$200 million to be managed by ZCF.
ZCF manager for co-operative development Godfrey Munyoro said in an interview recently that so far, 732 slabs have been constructed with the remaining 35 sites having been verified.
Mr Munyoro said of the 2,000 solar-powered hammermills, some will be specifically for rice and cassava.
He, however, said ZCF has not received any equipment for cassava and rice milling plants as they have not yet been shipped into the country from China.
“ZCF has so far received over 1,000 solar milling plant equipment. We have actually 732 at slab level and over 2,000 applications have been received. We are currently processing the tenders and we will start putting up more slabs soon.
“The 521 solar milling plant houses together with the solar panels have been built while 505 solar milling plants have been installed and we will be handing them over to the beneficiary co-operatives in the next quarter,” Mr Munyoro said.
He said the mealie-meal is selling at about K50 for breakfast and K40 for roller meal.
Mr Munyoro has appealed to various co-operatives across the country to apply for solar milling plants for them to witness the benefits of the initiative.