Government has allocated 72 Solar Milling plants to three districts in Southern Province.
Choma District Commissioner (DC) Sheena Muleya said government is targeting to install 2,000 milling plants country-wide in maize producing districts of which 40 have been allocated to Choma, 16 to Gwembe and another 16 to Pemba district.
She disclosed this during the close of a three day solar milling plant operations training workshop for selected cooperatives from the three districts held at Kalungula lodge in Choma today.
ZANIS reports that Ms. Muleya said it is the government’s dream to see to it that mealie meal prices are reduced and made affordable to every Zambian.
She said that it is government’s expectations that the mills will be used to manufacture mealie meal which will be made readily available in shops in Choma and other districts.
She further noted that the development has resulted in the creation of jobs for the youth especially in rural areas.
“Note that a lot of money has been spent in procuring these solar milling plants which is the first of its kind in Zambia and possibly Africa. Therefore, I cannot emphasize the need to take good care and maintain the milling plants,” she said.
The DC added that the mills have been given as a loan that was facilitated through the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) and that the cooperatives receiving them will need to pay back in accordance with the lease agreement.
Meanwhile, Ms. Muleya has made a request to the department of cooperatives under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the District Cooperative Union to see to it that other forms of cooperatives are formed so that employment is created to carter for the many youths who are currently unemployed.
And in a vote of thanks group Representative Gerald Hamuchenje thanked government for the initiative noting that it has helped empower youths in rural areas.