From December 16-19, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub reviewed the draft Malawi Seed Law in Lilongwe to ensure its harmonization with the SADC Model Law. In addition to meeting Lynn Schneider, USAID/Malawi Feed the Future Coordinator, the Senior Legal Advisor also met with Prince Kapondamgaga and Dr. Candida Nakhumwa, the CEO and Deputy CEO respectively of the Malawi Farmers’ Union.
On December 15, 2015, the Hon. Given Lubinda, Zambia’s Minister of Agriculture, commissioned the launch of services by the Zambian Agricultural Commodities Exchange (ZAMACE).
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is conducting gender training for Ammtech/COMACO, a strategic partnership grantee based in Chipata, Zambia to identify gender patterns, power dynamics, gender roles, rights, and opportunities related to COMACO beneficiaries (farmers) in the Nzamane, Mpenzeni, and Mbangombe cooperatives.
From November 22 to December 16, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is conducting gender research and training for Ammtech/COMACO, a strategic partnership grantee based in Chipata, Zambia to support the Trade Hub’s goal of integrating gender into the policies and procedures of grantee organizations.
On November 19, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub organized a year-end stakeholder meeting on the Warehouse Receipts System (WRS) at the USAID Mission in Maputo, Mozambique facilitated by the Banco Oportunidad de Mozambique (BOM) and hosted in conjunction with Amanda Fong and John Irons of USAID/Mozambique.
From October 27-29, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub finance and investment advisors were in Lusaka to assist the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) to reach out to commercial banks and financiers to better understand the financing opportunities presented by the development of a warehouse receipt system by the Zambia Commodities Exchange (ZAMACE).
During the week of September 21, 2015, a delegation from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub traveled to Zambia where it met with energy and environment counterparts from USAID/Zambia and held consultations with the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) in the run-up to a workshop that was held on September 22 to discuss the final stages of the Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (REFIT) regulations and pricing development.
Following a series of aflatoxin trainings in Nampula, Mozambique, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub made a follow-up visit from September 6-13, 2015 to assess the success of the techniques trained and the possibility of scaling up. Eleven training forums were visited, which had trained 152 farmers, of which 107 were women.
On September 15, 2015, Intertek Laboratories demonstrated the “Blue Box” technology at the USAID Southern Africa mission in Pretoria, South Africa. The Blue Box is an affordable precision tool kit composed of sampling and testing instruments that provides on the spot quality control to monitor crop or grain condition. It can be used both in the field and in storage facilities at any stage in the value chain.
During the week of September 7-11, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub training on grain grading and testing was passed on to local lab technicians at Vetlabs-Deltamune in Lusaka, Zambia.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted a Gender Animation and Mobilization Training in Catandica, Mozambique from August 5-7, 2015. The workshop was a follow-up to previous gender equality integration efforts by the Trade Hub in the agricultural value chains and was attended by representatives of farmer groups and community-based organizations.
In coordination with Southern African Grain Laboratories (SAGL), USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored an intensive ten-day training and certification course ending on July 31, 2015 for selected technicians from Malawi and Zambia.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is working in coordination with the USAID/Malawi INVC (Integrating Nutrition in Value Chains) program to raise awareness, improve standards, and bring quality to the Malawian groundnut supply chain. From July 13-22, 2015, three training workshops in Malawi sensitized farmers to the health and economic effects of aflatoxin contamination and demonstrated methods to decrease contamination at both the pre-and post-harvest stages.
From July 22-25, 2015 the Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted a Gender Animation and Mobilization Training Workshop for a large number of farmers and producers involved in the soy and groundnut value chains in Chimoio, the capital of Manica Province, Mozambique.
This week strategic partner Sierk Ybema Grain Services (SYGS) completed its Regional Mobile Training Services (RMTS) program. The RMTS program was established in an effort to reduce post-harvest losses in the SADC Feed the Future (FtF) countries of Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia through certified grain training in storage and handling.
Based on the results of agricultural laboratory assessment surveys conducted in April and May 2015 in Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique by the SAGL (Southern African Grain Laboratories) at the behest of the SA Trade Hub, four lab technicians from the region were selected to attend a specialized training course in South Africa.
The Zambia Seed Trade Association (ZASTA), along with various members of the seed industry and the SA Trade Hub, gathered in Lusaka to review and consolidate the ongoing national partnership to enhance implementation of the SADC Seed Harmonization Protocol.
Specialists from the SA Trade Hub, in conjunction with local partner INVC, trained over 200 farmers in Aflatoxin management in the Dedza District of Malawi. The field-based training targeted farmer leaders who will now be able to serve as farmer trainers in best practices in Aflatoxin mitigation and management for the roughly 10,000 smallholder farmers in Dedza.
SA Trade Hub Warehouse Receipt System (WRS) specialists were recently in Chimoio, Mozambique to provide extension training to donor organizations including: CLUSA, TECHNOSERVE, and GAPI on the fundamentals of the Warehouse Receipt System pilot development.
From July 8-9, 2015, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub held a training and learning workshop with 25 key groundnut supply chain actors in Mozambique to develop a pilot in-shell groundnut trading model that will reduce post-harvest aflatoxin contamination of groundnuts. Presently, over 60% of contamination happens at the farm gate level due to poor post-harvest handling.
At a recent workshop on Aflatoxin Management in Mozambique, the USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub became a member of the thematic group created to sensitize farmers, consumers and key stakeholders in the supply chains for key crops. The other three thematic groups will focus on establishing standards, sampling and testing procedures for Mozambique; control methods and research; and laboratory testing and certification.
The Trade Hub participated in the Southern Africa Feed the Future (FtF) regional workshop with three presentations as part of the Advancing Intra-Regional Trade and Investment session, chaired by USAID's Deputy Director of the Regional Economic Growth Office, Nancy Whitney.
As part of ongoing work to promote gender integration in the implementation of its Strategic Partnership Grants, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted two gender integration training courses in Malawi: one for NASFAM staff from May 21-22 and the other for groundnut farmers working with NASFAM from May 19-20, 2015.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub attended an awareness-raising workshop convened by the Zambia Seed Trade Association (ZASTA) to inform key personnel in seed companies of the harmonized seed regulations and measures in the SADC Region and to encourage participants to implement the regulations. The workshop was designed to simplify the information available in order to increase participation and regional seed release registration on the SADC Seed Center Catalogue, which is being supported by the Trade Hub.
The Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with the Instituto Nacional de Normalização e Qualidade (INNOQ), held a workshop on Good Standardization Practices in Maputo, Mozambique from May 5-7. The Code of Good Practice for the development, adoption, and application of standards is based on Annex 3 of the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement.
As part of the Southern Africa Trade Hub’s Strategic Partnership Grant to restore soil composition and fertility and livelihood enhancement through crop rotation in Manica Province, Mozambique, the Trade Hub hosted a four-day Gender Training Workshop for farmers engaged in grant implementation. The training took place in Chimoio, Mozambique May 4-7 and was attended by leader farmers and seed multipliers coming from four districts in Manica Province.
The Southern Africa Trade Hub is providing support for the integration of gender specific interventions into the HM Boerdery Strategic Partnership Grant in Malawi. The first phase was a gender analysis that took place took place April 24-30. On April 24 the Trade Hub attended a marketing field day organized by the Agricultural Commodity Exchange (ACE) for Africa and held at the NASFAM (National Association of Smallholder Farmers) offices in Lilongwe South. The event highlighted the agricultural marketing approaches that ACE uses and the benefits that farmers can derive from them.
Through its Strategic Partnership Grant with Sierk Ybema Grain Services, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub supported a Regional Mobile Grain Training Unit Training Course in Lilongwe, Malawi from March 23 to April 2. The course was held at ACE (Agricultural Commodity Exchange) Malawi and was designed to equip newly hired warehouse managers with the technical knowledge and practical techniques needed to run effective warehouses and combat post-harvest losses.
The USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub assessed the seed industry in Mozambique during the week of April 13-17, 2015, interviewing seed industry stakeholders on the national seed regulatory environment and progress on domestication of the SADC Harmonised Seed Regulations System (HSRS). Meetings were held with both public sector and private sector representatives, including the nascent Mozambique Seed Industry Association and the Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership, which was jointly established by USAID and the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
Solidaridad is a South African-registered nonprofit organization currently implementing a Strategic Partnership Grant with USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub to restore soil composition and fertility and to enhance livelihoods through crop rotation in the Manica Province of Mozambique. The Trade Hub is working with Solidaridad to meet grant objectives for women’s participation and empowerment. Accordingly, the Trade Hub carried out a gender analysis to review the results of Solidaridad’s gender integration program and identify measurable gender integration/impact interventions that can be made.
USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub partnered with Strategic Partnership grantee Solidaridad to deliver a four-day training in Chimoio, Mozambique to groundnut farmers at various levels of the value chain. Solidaridad received a grant of US$65,000 in 2014 to improve soil fertility in their maize and cotton fields via crop rotation with soy and groundnut.