ABOUT 50 cooperatives are benefitting from the solar milling plants supported by the Presidential Empowerment Initiative (PEI) in Kasama, says district commissioner Kelly Kashiwa.
Mr Kashiwa said the initiative was progressing well and provided competition to the players.
He said the people of Kasama greatly benefitted from the milling plants because it made mealie meal cheaper and was brought closer to the communities.
A spot check at some other milling plants revealed that a tin of maize for milling was pegged at K3 while at the solar milling plant the same went for K1.
“These solar milling plants are helpful to the people and it is giving good competition because it is affordable to many people,” he said.
Mr Kashiwa said the initiative was sustaining the lives of people because mealie-meal was selling at K60 as compared to other outlets that were selling the same staple food at K85 per 25kg bag of maize.
He said the production of cheaper mealie-meal had since started in the province and offloaded on the local market.
He said Kasama residents were accessing cheaper mealie meal at cooperative union outlets and that the demand was high.
Mr Kashiwa said the high demand was an indication that the project was progressing well as there would be consistent production of the commodity in the area.
Mr Kashiwa said the move by Government would enable solar milling plants compete favourably on the local market.
He said so far 40 solar-powered hammer mills were erected in the district, adding that it was only the PF government that had revived the cooperatives.
Government recently supplied over 400 metric tonnes of subsidized maize to solar milling plants under the PEI in Northern Province.