THE Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) is structuring a financing facility which President Lungu negotiated with China for setting up small milling plants across the country at a cost of over US$50,000 per plant in rural areas where there is surplus maize production.
DBZ managing director Jacob Lushinga said in an interview yesterday that Government is rolling out a plan to create more than 30,000 jobs and significantly push down mealie-meal prices by setting up the milling plants.
Once the DBZ has completed the structuring of the milling plant financing, it will disburse the finances to the Zambia Co-operative Federation (ZCF), which will identify the key areas for the milling plants and implement the presidential initiative.
“This ambitious plan is actually a presidential initiative aimed at tackling rural poverty and curbing unemployment. The bank is honoured to structure the finances from China for this important project of the government,” Mr Lushinga said.
Under the plan, small milling plants will be set up in parts of Zambia where excess maize is produced so that the milling of the commodity can be done at the source of production in order to push down the prices of the staple food.
Mr Lushinga said the high mealie-meal prices are due to transportation costs.
“One such small milling plant once established will need at least up to 12 people to put up the structure and to run at that level. This will result in not less than 30,000 jobs created by the end of this year,” he said.
Mr Lushinga said the exact figures for the plants are being worked out.
“I think this country has a practical president who wants to nip the problem in the bud by reducing poverty because people can only work better, study better or think better when they are not hungry…that is what we are seeing here and it must be commended,” Mr Lushinga said.
President Lungu, during the campaign for the 2015 election, which he won, promised to bring down the prices of maize and continue creating jobs by taking milling plants to places of crop production and cut the cost of transportation.
You can’t really fault him on this ambitious project. Unless you’re a sadist.
A mentality challenged person thinks it is the others who are mad.
Twisted PF mentality, what will ultimately bring down the cost of mealie meal is reduction in input costs. You can build all milling companies you want but if fertilizer, seed and other inputs remain expensive and not delivered on time mealie meal will always be expensive. Chimbwi no plan will not help
we have seen that before it never worked…. come one year from now those $50,000 figayo will not be working while you pay back the money to China the rest of your lives…
Its easy to appease dull people
@1.2 Obatala Anabwera- And have you any idea on how to bring the price of input down?
A LUNGU ANABWERA KUCHOKA KU CHAWAMA. ALIBE NA MA PLANI SHUWA! IMWE A KUCHIPATA MWATISEBANYA ZOOONA. MWAPAYA ZIKO LATU IMWA A CHIPATA.
Plants worth $50,000?? this is st.upid? what capacity will this have to serve a province?? these kind of plants should be put by individuals not government??
DBZ are not serious on this. I medium sized milling plant cost around $210,000 FOB?? they have not done their homework and bet this is a loophole to steal.
These plants will work for 1 month and will all be abandoned.
lets get serious Mr Lungu, this is nonsense.. Put proper milling machines in each district / bring back cooperatives…
This is not his idea , he should be honest and not claims credit anyhow. This was Sata’s idea and had even instructed some district to facility land for milling plants so that each province could have one and not grow maise have it transported to the urban area and then transport back the mealie meal.
I think due to his illness perhaps could it see it through
Wapya munzi go go forward ECL 2016 through to 2021 and beyond.
Kills us small scale investors. Honestly I wanted to invest in this and exactly the costing is what I got US$ 50,000.00. But if GRZ will vest in this, who knows they may start by subsidizing their business meaning mine will go under. BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD for me., but good initiative by GRZ THUMBS UP.
Well well well, will this be before or after the establishment of the so much publicized national airline?
These PF milling plants will never reduce maize prices in Zambia for a very simple reason that input costs in Zambia are the highest in the region. PF should have addressed the high cost of doing business in this country as a matter of priority than indulging in such unwise schemes. The second reason is that sooner or later, the PF milling plant owners will realise that selling mealie meal in Congo DR is far much lucrative than selling it in Zambia ! One doesnt need to be a genius to conclude that high mealie meal prices in neghbouring countries would be more attractive to PF millers and this wont reduce prices in Zambia ba PF naimwe…!
Would be nice to know the maintenance plan projected for at least the first four to five years (viability test, I believe) from a well done CBA. Otherwise this is another 2016 ruse that will begin to break apart after retaining the current rulership…
What the president said was that, instead of transporting raw materials (maize) to Lusaka and Copperbelt, processing will be done from the maize belts (rural areas). This in itself means reduced cost of maize because the cost of transporting maize to the big cities would have been eliminated. this will also provide employment to the rural dwellers which will reduce rural-urban drift. Annalyse issues guys instead of just rushing it to critics.
My friend I am in Chipata and Mealie Meal is high still despite having milling plants around here. The cost of Maize is also very high ZMK 75.00 & how low will mealie meal be. Fertilizer is ZMK 250.00. Still this is a loan which has a cost also in form of interest. Friends, tackle agriculture & then maize is a product that will be produced at low cost & mealie meal will eventually be lower too. You don’t start from the top-start from the bottom. PF thinking!
Chrispin, the price of maize is same throughout the country & is dictated by the govt. Also prices for inputs through FISP is dictated by the govt. So how then will the prices of mealie meal come down? Will rural farmers going to sell their maize at less than govt recommended prices. How then are they going to pay for their FISP loans? Please educate me.
I sat down and thought for a while. Here is a farmer whose maize you want to buy cheaply. What this farmer is asking you is what happens to the prices of these other commodities? As at now the 50kg bag of corn is at K75, and probably they are happy with the price. So if the price has to be forced downwards, say, K40 to make sure the price of mealie meal goes down. So what is their benefit?
The issue of mealie meal is real in all these urbanised areas because when its rain season they do not grow their own food. In urban areas life is about selling a service for you to look after yourself and yours. Even if you take the milling plants in my village, we would never buy mealie meal because we have never done so for over 30 years now; we grow maize, cassava, millet, soya beans, sorghum; then we take to the local small scale miller for milling. I wish many more could adopt this strategy. Drought stricken areas; please start growing Cassava alongside your milisi; if one fails, you have something to fall back on.
We have been there before. On face value it sounds good but the political tone of the DBZ MD is worrying. It sounds very much like the failed citizen’s empowerment fund project. This is an assumption that once you set up a rural milling plant you will create employment and lower prices without taking into account the competences of management and staff to run such plants. How will they ensure accountability and ability to pay back these loans? I wonder how ZCF will manage this project when it failed to run the cooperatives in the past. As long as the inputs remain high the project will fail to lower the price of mealie meal. This will just be another sangwapo project where funds will just disappear leaving the tax payer the burden of paying back the loans.
You see @job, discussions like yours (and mine) are being marked down because it is not in the nature of most Zambians to wrap their little minds around such reality. If you look around at the mentality of an average Zambian, they would rather take a broken down machine to an “improviser” because they will not afford what the original dealer will charge them, especially that they drive things to break point hence there is much more to attend to suddenly. This is my worry with the vigayo and that is why I piqued the weak minds when I suggested a CBA and considerations in effect of how these things will be taken care of – is it all in the $50K? …and for how long? Nobody wants to hear bad news, that is why everything is either the devil or witchcraft in that country!!!
@Kalok thanks very much. Zambians are lazy at reading as a result they dont know their social and political history and that’s why they are easily cheated by cheap politicians and repeating the same mistakes over and over again till they perish. It’s very sad.
THESE ARE NOT MILLING PLANTS. A REAL MILLING PLANT CAN’T COST $50 000. THIS IS WHERE ALL ZAMBIA’S GOVERNMENTS GO WRONG. THEY HAVE NO RESPECT FOR RURAL AREAS. THEY ALREADY HAVE FAILED TO PUT UP JUST 10 STATE-OF-THE-ART REAL MILLING PLANTS TO GENERATE REAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE RURAL YOUTH. IN TURN RURAL DWELLERS WOULD HAVE STARTED REAL FARMING AS THE SURPLUS FROM MILLING PLANTS WOULD HAVE BEEN EXPORTED ACROSS THE BORDERS. THIS IS RB STYLE OF CAMPAIGNING- WHERE HE STARTS BUILDING RAZOR-THIN ROADS AND AFTER THE CAMPAIGN WHEN HE WINS THE ELECTIONS EVEN THOSE RAZOR-THIN ROADS PROJECTS GET ABANDONED. WHAT A MISSED OPPORTUNITY TO TRANSFORM RURAL AREAS INTO REAL PRODUCTION CENTRES.
On this one i can say Thumb in the Air. It’s a good Move because Millers claim to say the cost of Transporting Maize to Lusaka for Example and Mill the so called meal mealie meal is high hence the price of the commodity escalates. Now if they Harvest in Southern Province and there is a GRZ MILLING there better. The benefits will be
1. Job Creation
2. Low Mealie Meal Prices Within that Province.
Let the Government come up with a Mini Oil Refinery as well that can Refine Angola Crude oil, then Fuel Prices will go down. This worked in South Africa. Angola is our neba and they have crude oil but the problem with Zambia is that we dont have a Refinery that can Refine crude oil from Angola. Comment ba People.
We don’t have an oil refinery at all. What we have at Indeni is a separator which is a very expensive process and pushes the price of fuel up
The vigayo can continue but of course there are citizens in those towns who prefare breakfast or roller meal milled by advanced millers. Fact is it is necessary for provincial towns or and other towns if its possible to have milling companies so that there is no transport costs factored into it coz of transporting maize from farming areas to millers in urban areas and then transport mealie meal back.
Ths just to appease cadres, threz no real benefit to people. As if they will grow maize as well..?
I miss Mwanawasa and Magande Government- They showed that they were using their heads to think unlike these zombies.
THE VIGAYO ISSUE BA PIPO CAN WORK OUT ONLY IF WE HAVE MANAGERS WHO ARE CIVIL SERVANTS AND BUSINESS MINDED NOT THESE WHO SITS IN OFFICES DRINKING COFFEE AND WOMANISING THEIR SECRETARIE.
IF THE PRISON SERVICE CAME UP WITH ONE MILLING COMPANY IN KABWE AND THEY APPRECIATED IT OF WHICH THEY ARE STILL APPRECIATING THAT MOVE THEN EVEN THE GRZ CAN DO IT.
ITS DIFFICULT TO DICTATE MEALIE MEAL PRICES TO PRIVATE MILLERS BETTER THE WAY IT WAS IN UNIP COZ THE GRZ HAD NATIONAL MILLING COMPANY, WHICH WAS GIVEN OUT TO PRIVATE ARRANGEMENT LEAVING THE COUNTRY ZAMBIA WITH NO ANY MILLING COMPANY OF THEIR OWN. FRA BUYS MAIZE FROM FARMERS AND SELLS IT TO THE MILLERS WHO COMES UP WITH MEALIE MEAL. SO IN SHORT LET THE GRZ GO BACK TO MILLING BUSINESS EVEN IF THEY MAKE A SMALL PROFIT FOR SALARIES BETTER.
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