ZAMBIA – The Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) has entered into an equity partnership with Kasama Milling to own 70% shares in the milling company in bid to reduce the mealie meal prices.

As a result of this partnership, 25kg bag of breakfast is costing K135 while 25kg bag of roller is K125 as opposed to K160 charged in most parts of the country.

According to ZCF Director General James Chirwa, the federation wants to take a leading role in terms of industrializing rural areas.

“We want to be the key institution in the attainment of an industrialized rural area. And we are mindful as we carry on with this ambition that we cannot do it on our own as a federation singularly, we need to create synergies, partnerships, collaborations and also things that will reduce the burden of carrying on with this function,” he said.

Chirwa stated that the federation wants to concentrate in rural areas where there is less competition.

“We want to leave a slot in the city for those who are comfortable operating in the city. And we want to go to a slot that is untapped by people and that is a rural area.”

He also disclosed that the federation intends to set up ten milling plants in rural districts requiring a capital injection of about US$38 million.

The government has been talking to possible financiers of which discussions have been progressive with a possibility of getting the needed funds. ZCF is pumping about K1.9 million (US$130,000) into the operations.

Private millers such as African Milling Limited have also joined the bandwagon of making mealie meal affordable by commissioning its newly installed maize mill with a capacity of 336T/24H and 50,000T storage.

Following the commission, the miller has reduced the wholesale price of a 25 Kilogramme bag of Breakfast mealie meal from 150 Kwacha to 130 Kwacha at the factory which is expected to be selling on the market for 136 Kwacha.