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IN honouring the campaign promise of keeping the prices of essential commodities within reach Government says it will through the Zambia National Service (ZNS) milling plants be selling the 25 kilogramme bags of mealie meal at K125 breakfast and K85 per 25 kilogrammes roller meal bag. 

Minister of Defence and National Security Ambrose Lufuma said the government was in a hurry to see stability in the prices of mealie meal and essential commodities within reach of the low income earners. 

Mr Lufuma said this when he commissioned the 240-tonns capacity ZNS Mpika Industrial Milling Plant yesterday. 

He said Government found it unacceptable to have mealie meal prices that are so fluid. 

He said that he was confident that the initiative would greatly assist reverse the effects of the removal of subsidies on fuel has had on the general prices of mealie meal. 

Mr Lufuma said the successful construction of the second ZNS 240tonns capacity milling plant would secure the nation from any possible mealie meal shortages.

And Muchinga Province Minister Henry Sikazwe said that the people should take advantage of the milling plant that had been constructed in their region by planting more maize because there would be readily available market for their crops. 

Mr Sikazwe said that the contraction of the milling plant in Mpika would not only create jobs for the local youths but would also lower the price of mealie meal in the area. 

Meanwhile, ZNS commandant Lieutenant General Maliti Solochi has advised local grain growers and suppliers to consider ZNS as their first choice buyer of their products and they could be assured of prompt payments. 

Lt-Gen Solochi also said that the construction of the facility would not only stimulate the creation of formal jobs but also trickle down to informal job opportunities by triggering the growth of the agricultural sector. 

He said that local youths in the area should organise themselves into cooperatives so that they could become sales agents for the milling plant. 

Lt-Gen Solochi said that ZNS was among the government institutions that were contributing to the empowerment youths and reduce joblessness.  The ZNS Mpika milling was the second of the six milling plant the government was constructing in different parts of the country.  Its commissioning comes a few months after government commissioned the ZNS Monze milling plant.

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