ZAMBIA – The Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) has said it will complete installing all the 2,000 Solar Milling Plants countrywide before the end of this year, Lusaka Times has reported.

So far, 1,300 solar milling plants have been installed but the 2,000 target may not be realized by the previously set deadline, August 2018.

Out of them installed, 1,014 have been commissioned and handed over to the various cooperatives.

Plans to purchase solar hammer mills were rolled out in 2015 under the President Milling Initiative in collaboration with ZCF to improve Mealie meal production and also help reduce the mealie meal prices.

ZCF Director General James Chirwa said the federation had so far erected 1,510 slabs in order to meet the targeted time frame.

“As ZCF we are committed to meeting the target of completing these activities within the course of 2018.

So far 1,510 slabs have been erected, this shows that we are on course.”

The high-tech equipment uses solar power on a 24-hour basis and they will involve training schools for building capacity especially for the youth who will be involved in equipment operations.

Eastern province has received the highest number of the solar milling plants followed by Northern Province and this because of the high demand as the milling plants are being installed depending on the demand on the ground.

Solar-powered mills are planned for reducing corn flour costs in the region and enable farmers sell their maize at their door steps than having to travel long distances.