Story and Pictures By NCHIMUNYA MIYOBA in Kitwe
The Zambia Co-operative Federation (ZCF) plans to set up a 200 metric tonnes milling plants in Luanshya and Mbala at a total cost of about USD 9.8 Million which will be funded by the Development Bank.
Speaking after touring the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) milling plant in Chambishi, ZCF Director General James Chirwa admired the project and wants to replicate it in Luanshya and Mbala.
Mr Chirwa said the project which is been funded by the Development Bank will reduce the movement of grain from production cites into the cities.
He said the initiatives by MUZ to settle up a milling should be commended as it will compete favourably with other millers in the district.
Mr Chirwa said the setting up of milling plants will be rolled out to all maize producing districts in the country with the aim of addressing the high mealie meal prices.
“The milling plants will also support the solar milling plants that have put up by Government.
“ZCF is confident that the MUZ plant will flood the market with affordable mealie meal, thereby bringing down the price of the commodity,” he said.
Mr Chirwa emphasized that the country is currently fertile for development and Zambians should seize the moment and focus on value addition.
He noted that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) floor price of 70kg for 50kg bag of maize should not worry farmers.
He counselled farmers not to wait for the FRA to fix the price of their produce instead they should fix the prices themselves as they know how much was spent to produce a bag.
Meanwhile MUZ President Joseph Chewe said Zambians should take charge of their own investment by investing in the locally produced commodities like maize thereby creating jobs for the local people.
Mr Chewe said it is time for Zambians to wake and invest in local products which most of them have a readily available markets in the neighbouring countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“MUZ has plans to engage Ex-miners who where recently empowered with farm lands to start selling their produce to the milling plant,” he said.