NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
THE Zambia Co-operative Federation (ZCF) and Shandong Dejian Group of China have started training technical students from universities and colleges on how to operate the 2,000 milling plants to be set up under the presidential initiative.
The training is expected to cost about US$50,000 per month and will be continuous.
ZCF director-general James Chirwa said in Lusaka yesterday that training centres will be set up in each provincial capital, where students will be trained by Chinese experts.
He was speaking at a press briefing when he met 10 engineering students from the University of Zambia (UNZA).
â€œWe have partnered with universities and colleges that offer technical subjects to enable us to train the students so that they have the knowledge on how to operate these milling plants,â€ he said.
Mr Chirwa said in Lusaka, land has already been acquired near the Olympic Youth Development Centre, where the training facility will be set up.
He said this will enable the Chinese expatriates to transfer expertise to the students who will work on the 2,000 solar-powered milling plants expected to be set up across the country.
â€œWe have started with 10 students from UNZA and we will get 20 more from other universities and colleges who will be the first batch in our recruitment programme,â€ he said.
Mr Chirwa is hopeful that the students will start bringing in their own innovations after the training.
He said the organisation wants to see a raw materials export ban to encourage the export of finished products.
He thanked Government for the support.
Mr Chirwa urged the students to be drivers of the first-ever innovation, which is expected to stabilise the price of mealie-meal.
Speaking at the same function, Shandong Dejian Group Zambia general manager Huang Meng said the company is happy to provide the skills to the students and urged them to take the training seriously.
Mr Huang said the 2,000 milling plants to be installed have the capacity to change the lives of the rural people.
NANCY SIAME, Lusaka