USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub visited four Strategic Partnership Grant activity sites in Malawi last week to benchmark the status of grant implementation, address potential hurdles, and highlight successes realized thus far. The grants are leveraging the skills, knowledge, and technology of South African partners to address agricultural issues in Malawi related to aflatoxin and groundnut processing, crop resiliency, malnutrition decrease, and post-harvest loss.
The Trade Hub visited NASFAM who, with support from the Trade Hub and MH Boerdery, is upgrading their central groundnut processing plant and animal feed processing plant, as well as enhancing farmers’ access to technology and storage facilities in Lilongwe South. The upgrades will increase the production capacity of the groundnut processing plant from two to five tons per hour. Ten thousand farmers in Lilongwe South will benefit from new equipment and a new warehouse facility provided under the grant.
The next stop was Peacock Enterprises, which was supported by the Trade Hub in conjunction with Capstone Seeds, to expand their product line with CAP9001 hybrid maize seed. The seed performed with high success despite the drought that resulted in low crop yields throughout Malawi this year, producing approximately 250 tons.
The Trade Hub also spent time visiting Valid Nutrition. Through a grant with PMD, the Trade Hub is supporting Valid Nutrition’s expansion to a ready-to-use complementary food (RUCF) product that will be marketed to reach young children before malnutrition occurs. In the first year, Valid Nutrition projects production of 45 tons of the RUCF with the goal of producing 75 tons in the second year.
Lastly, the Trade Hub visited ADMARC, which is working in a joint venture with Vermeulen Andele Trust of South Africa to increase their production of staple foods for domestic consumption and regional export. The equipment subsidized through the grant has arrived at the ADMARC facility and has been assembled in preparation for production. The new activities with Vermeulen will require that ADMARC employ an additional 25 workers, the majority of which will be women. ADMARC estimates that 30,000 farmers, the majority of which will also be women, will benefit from their expanded production capacities.
Photo: Workers at NASFAM load soy in Lilongwe South