CO-OPERATIVES across the country should apply for the delivery and installation of solar hammer mills in their respective areas to result in reduced prices of mealie-meal, Minister of Agriculture Dora Siliya has said.
Ms Siliya said in an interview Government had bought over 2,000 solar powered hammer mills under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.
“About 300 have been delivered. It seems the process is demand-driven, so co-operatives should apply. Solar powered hammer mills are effective in off-grid areas [limited supply of power] and will result in reduced mealie-meal prices and other crops that require processing or polishing.
“As Government, we want to see farmers graduate to mechanisation. This is why we are undertaking various measures aimed at improving agriculture,” she said.
Ms Siliya said the recently launched tractor assembly plant in the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone is part of moving towards agriculture mechanisation.
“We are also discussing with the Indian government with a view to establishing an agriculture equipment plant. We also have a programme with National Savings and Credit Bank and traditional leaders that is promoting agriculture mechanisation,” she said.