Prison milling plant excels in the market

KALONGA milling plant, a project run by the Zambia Correctional Services (ZCS) in Kabwe to feed prisoners on cheaper mealie meal and lower the cost of the commodity in surrounding areas, is competing well with other milling companies on the market, says ZCS chief marketing officer Godfrey Mbewe.

Mr Mbewe said ZSC Commissioner General Percy Chato has directed that the project be extended to the Copperbelt in Ndola and that in future more milling plants will be established in other provinces for both consumption and commercial purposes.

Mr Mbewe explained that Kalonga milling plant was now able to supply its major consumers, who are prisoners, and that the surplus was being sold to the public.

‘‘Our mealie meal is very affordable to the general public who can access it at any retail shop in Kabwe and on the Copperbelt. A 25 kg bag of breakfast mealie meal is selling at K68, while K60 is the price of roller meal. The retailer has a mark-up of K5 on both,’’ he said.

Mr Mbewe explained that the plant could produce 80 metric tonnes of mealie-meal per day which is 2,720 by 25 kg of both breakfast and roller meal, but at the moment the plant was not producing to full capacity due to a shortage of maize.

Mr Mbewe said the construction of the milling plant was in line with the ZCF commitment to improving its services, enhance value addition and self-sustainability.

And Mr Mbewe said ZCS was managing the environment, which is the theme of the on-going Zambia Agricultural Show in Lusaka, through production of mealie meal and also the farm produce that it supplied to the general public.

He said the Zambia Correctional Services was now a major farm producer which supplies to wholesalers and retailers and that nothing goes to waste during its production process.

The K2.5 million Kalonga milling plant in Kabwe is a Government initiative aimed at increasing ZCS sustainability in the provision of food to the prisoner population.