Presidential Solar Milling Plant Initiative intends to purchase over 2000 solar powered milling machines.
Chanda Kasolo, Eastern Province Permanent Secretary said so far 100 solar milling plants had been commissioned in five districts of the province, which included Chadiza, Lundazi, Katete, Vubwi and Chipata.
The Presidential Solar Milling Plant programme being lead by the Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) is targeting primary cooperative societies which would contribute in value-addition to the staple food of the nation.
The programme started in December 2015 is coupled with training of solar milling plant operators.
“It is the first of its kind to ultimately reduce the cost of processing the staple food and significantly reduce the cost of mealie-meal. This initiative will also contribute to the reduction of malnutrition and improve economic stability of the rural communities,” Kasolo said.
He said the centres where the machines were being installed would be transformed into economic zones to provide employment at local level.
Kasolo said ZCF had set up provincial training and service centres in order to ensure sustainability and maintenance of the equipment.
“The training programme targets youths in different provinces to undergo training on how to operate the solar hammer mills. The continuity of the solar milling plants largely depends on trainees,” he said.