BY KETRA KALUNGA
CRAFTY farmers are killing Solar Miling Plants whose performance has reduced to 50 percent.
Solar milling plants are struggling because of lack of appreciation of the concept by the small scale farmers, Zambia Cooperative Federation-ZCF has said.
ZCF director general, James Chirwa said that the small-scale farmers as beneficiaries of the milling plants through the cooperatives have opted to sell their maize which they are supposed to use for mealie meal production through the Solar Milling Plants.
He explained in an interview with the Daily Nation that the farmers have been selling their maize expecting the government to buy the maize for the mealie meal production through ZCF.
The ZCF boss said he is at pains to see beneficiaries opting to sell all their maize which if used to produce mealie-meal would benefit them three times more than selling maize.
“Zambians are slowly drifting into being very dependent in terms of their approach to issues. People are thinking that ZCF should buy maize from Lusaka and feed each and every solar milling plant, there is no operation of such kind that can be sustained, it’s not workable,” he said.
Mr. Chirwa has urged the cooperatives that have been given an opportunity to run the solar milling plants to own the project and contribute to the development of the country.
He said the government has taken a step by giving the solar milling plants to the small-scale farmers and it was up to them to ensure they feed the milling plants with enough maize for mealie meal production and sustain themselves and the project.
“People are receiving these milling plants and are not seeing the value in them. It’s very painful especially for me because I know what we went through to get this project running. It appears this word of being given as taken control of most of the Zambians they want to get, get and they are not contributing,” said Mr. Chirwa.
BY KETRA KALUNGA