By Nkweto Mumba
Kasama/ March 9, 2023, ZANIS—Northern Province Minister, Hon. Leonard Mbao has implored the Zambia National Service (ZNS) to consider setting up a milling plant in the region to help reduce the price of mealie meal.
Speaking when Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary, Norman Chipakupaku, paid a courtesy call on him in Kasama, Mr. Mbao says establishing a milling plant will curb escalating prices of the commodity.
Mr. Mbao revealed that mealie meal prices in the province are very high, ranging between K200 and K240, a situation he described as worrying.
“We want to appeal to your Ministry, the Zambia National Service, to consider setting up a milling plant which will help to bring down mealie meal prices.” Mr. Mbao said.
And the Provincial Minister has appealed to the defence wings to take a leading role in increasing food production in the region.
He says defence wings should maximise the agricultural potential in the Northern Province and enhance the country’s food basket.
“This region has the capacity to contribute a lot to the national food basket but we need the help of wings like ZNS to increase productivity.” He said
Mr. Mbao also urged the defence forces to use their experience and expertise to improve the quality of infrastructure in the country.
He says the Zambia National Service should help to make feeder roads passable to ease the movement of agricultural produce.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mbao has appealed to the Ministry of Defence to put up an army base in the province to enhance security in the region
And Mr. Chipakupaku informed the Provincial Minister that all Defence wings have been directed to contribute to economic development through farming.
He tasked the Zambia National Service to take a leading role in agricultural production in Northern Province and fully exploit the potential.
“This province has so much water and we need to do more here in terms of food production.” Mr Chipakupaku said.
Mr. Chipakupaku also said putting up a milling plant will require increased and consistent supply of maize.
He added that ZNS will soon commence the production of hemp and cannabis for medicinal purposes.
The Permanent Secretary further reiterated that the military recruitment process is being done on merit and without compromise on the set standards.
Mr. Chipakupaku and his delegation is in Kasama to inspect work on the construction of Kasama Airport runway and farming activities under the Zambia National Service.
And ZNS Assistant Secretary Shenki Zulu said the defence wing plans to set up milling plants in all the Provincial centres