THE Development Bank of Zambia(DBZ) is interested in funding the Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) which requires a total of K49 million to set up three milling plants in the country.
ZCF director general James Chirwa said the cooperative movement was currently in discussions with DBZ which has already expressed interest to provide the funds once modalities on the deal were finalised.
The move was aimed at mitigating the high prices of mealie-meal currently obtaining in the country.
Mr Chirwa explained that the K49 million will go towards construction of the mill house, warehouse and storage facilities for both raw and finished products.
“In principle DBZ has expressed interest to finance the construction milling plants in the country, but we are yet to discuss the modalities of funding.
“We may end up securing money for at least three milling plants from there,” Mr Chirwa said.
The Federation was now at a level where DBZ has issued ZCF with a term sheet which states the terms and conditions of acquiring the funds.
“We need to meet certain conditions and we have seen that most conditions that have been set forth, can be met and I don’t think there will be a problem in accessing these funds,” Mr Chirwa said.
Mr Chirwa also mentioned that, ZCF was also looking at other sources to provide more funds to increase milling plants to at least six.
About 22 districts have so far been picked but the federation would start with those in the highest maize producing provinces, namely Southern, Eastern and Northern.
Sometime last year, ZCF engaged DBZ and Government to source for US$21 million for the purchase of equipment for milling plants in its continued efforts to industrialise rural areas.
ZCF has a five-year strategic plan in which it intends to achieve the much talked about industrial clusters in all regions.
Times of Zambia