CHINGOLA, Zambia, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- About 1,830 solar-powered milling plants have so far been constructed in various parts of Zambia out of the earmarked 2,000, an official said on Thursday.
The construction of the milling parts, which is being funded at a cost of 200 million U.S. dollars from China, is intended to ease the problem of access to milling plants, especially in rural parts of the country.
Bright Mapipo, president of the Zambia Cooperative Federation, which is spearheading the project, said the Chinese contractor, Shandong Contractor, has been faithful in executing its mandate and that the milling plants were operational, with only 170 remaining to be completed.
"The solar-powered hammer mills will reduce the cost of mealie-meal, especially in rural and peri-urban areas where most of our small-scale farmers are concentrated," he said.
The Chinese contractor, he said, has also completed the construction of provincial centers for hammer mills operators, warehouse for spare parts and installation of hammer mills.
The building of provincial training centers is part of the package by the Chinese contractor to ensure that locals are able to man the milling facilities and as part of skills transfer, he added.
He said the bilateral relationship between Zambia and China was bearing fruits as seen in the construction of the solar-powered milling plants across the country.