Herdsman with their cattle in rural Lesotho


Community millers charge a service fee to mill maize for community members into maize meal, which is why it is known as community, service or Posho milling.

The term ‘community milling’ can be misleading, since this type of milling, also known as service or posho milling (the latter used in Eastern African countries), should not be frowned upon from a business perspective.

Community mills can grow into a lucrative business for the entrepreneur or small business owner, whilst providing an invaluable service to the local community.

Read on and watch videos to learn more about community milling, its benefits, opportunities for African entrepreneurs, three entrepreneurs who’ve made a success of it in Lesotho, the best mills to use for community milling, as well as frequently asked questions about Roff’s Posho mill.

Posho miller client cleaning her maize before milling

What is community milling?

Rural regions consume a significant share of the maize meal in Africa, since it’s a staple food. But with unstable maize prices and high transport costs, rural maize meal prices are increasing.

This is a concerning trend, but it can be addressed: by reducing input costs, consumer prices can be kept down. Community milling helps by bringing the mill to the community to keep costs for the end-user as low as possible. 

Community or service millers charge members of the local community a small fee for milling their maize, often the staple food of rural families. These millers provide a valuable service to people in rural areas, who cannot afford to travel great distances to have their maize milled or to purchase commercially packaged maize meal from retail shops.

It’s a win-win situation for both the entrepreneur and the community he serves. Take Lesotho’s Godfrey Kou, Jerry Ntsekhe and Mahala Molapo as example. They are all making a valuable contribution to ensuring food security in their local communities whilst building profitable businesses as well. Their success stories are an inspiration to fellow entrepreneurs.

Download the Roff Ultimate guide to community milling


Looking to enter the service or community milling industry? Roff has compiled valuable information to help you on your way. 

Download Roff’s FREE The African Entrepreneur’s Ultimate Guide to Community Milling for everything you need to know about community milling.

The compact Posho Mill
The compact Posho Mill

Community milling creates opportunities for African entrepreneurs

Localised maize milling a.k.a. community milling is a rapidly growing market sector. Some of the reasons it creates real business opportunities for African entrepreneurs include:

  • Maize meal as a staple food will always be in demand in Africa
  • Population growth means consumption growth
  • Maize meal is needed for people, while its by-product can be fed to livestock
  • Scalability is crucial for African distribution
  • Choosing the right mill means low operating costs, from day one of operation

Roff designed its innovative Posho mill to help entrepreneurs start out in community milling.

Herdboy with his cattle
Posho miller inspecting quality of maize meal

Roff’s Posho mill: the ideal mill for community milling

Once an entrepreneur has decided to pursue community milling, one of the biggest decisions will be in which mill to invest – especially in a startup operation.

To serve this specific market, Roff designed its innovative easy to operate Posho roller mill to deliver quality maize meal at a capacity of 750kg per hour, using a small footprint and with optional extras available.

The Posho is a hardworking maize mill with simplified roller milling technology designed for rural productivity. Its real beauty, however, lies in the fact that its lower operating costs can be passed on to the community.

We answer some of your questions in this video:

Posho miller in action

Final thoughts

Community milling (also known as service or posho milling) not only provides a valuable service to rural communities by ‘bringing the mill to the community’ and saving them time and money, it’s also a profitable business opportunity for the African entrepreneur or small business owner. 

By choosing a compact, affordable maize mill from the onset, which boasts low operating costs, has a small footprint and delivers quality maize meal to name a few, such as the Roff Posho roller mill, entrepreneurs will set themselves up for a viable business that yields return on investment.

Check out the Posho Mill