ABOUT 200 solar-powered milling plants are expected to be installed by next month to help mitigate the high prices of mealie-meal in the country, Zambia Co-operative Federation (ZCF) director general James Chirwa has said.
Last year, President Lungu said Government was working with ZCF to set up solar-powered hammer mills to help reduce the price of mealie-meal and that the initiative would create over 3,000 jobs for Zambians.
In an interview on Friday, Mr Chirwa said the construction of milling houses and concrete slabs across the country for the assembling of equipment is progressing well.
He said the next consignment for equipment is expected in the country by mid- February and that the project will speed up rural industrialisation.
“The shipment [of equipment] will start rolling in by mid-February, so by the end of next month, we should have gotten 200 units…We should be able to finish constructing the milling houses where the [equipment] will be placed [soon],”
“…By the end of next month, we will have a number of sites in operation, including Southern Province, where we have already put up 55 slabs waiting for the installation of the equipment,” he said.
Mr Chirwa said the organisation has also identified 20 sites in high- density areas under Lusaka Province, which include Chongwe, Kafue, Chibombo and Chilanga, for the project.
He said the co-operative has completed the construction of about 25 milling houses in Northern Province.
“In Eastern Province, we have completed building slabs in Chadiza, Chipata, Lundazi and we are now moving into Katete this week. Thereafter, we will cover Sinda, Petauke and Nyimba,” he said.
For Muchinga Province, the co-operative has finished putting up a number of slabs in Nakonde which includes Isoka, Chinsali and Mpika.