USAID’s Southern Africa Regional Economic Growth Office paid a visit to Southern Africa Trade Hub Strategic Partnership Grantees in Lilongwe, Malawi and Chipata, Zambia from May 17-22 to monitor grant progress, compliance, and deliverables. Environmental Compliance Officer Judith Mlanda Zvikaramba and Senior Agricultural Development Specialist Patricia Rwasoka-Masanganise visited four sites in the region, while Feed the Future Coordinator Lynn Schneider from USAID Malawi joined for one of the site visits (to Valid Nutrition) as well.
In Nathenje, Malawi, USAID visited the NASFAM warehouse to view new equipment received through the grant for shelling groundnuts and to experience NASFAM’s Warehouse Receipts System, which is supported by ongoing work by the Trade Hub for grading and storage management. USAID officials were also able to discuss the Agricultural Storage Investment Facility with the Malawi Commodity Exchange at the ACE office in Lilongwe.
At the Valid Nutrition processing plant in Malawi, the team was able to see equipment installed through a grant with PMD Packaging for the production of Ready-to-Use-Complementary foods, which are being produced to fight chronic malnutrition in pregnant women and children, and also observed SAGL’s laboratory assessments onsite. The Trade Hub has supported SAGL to increase the capacity of testing labs in Feed the Future countries so the labs can meet technology requirements and provide internationally-recognized tests for the region.
A stop at Admark Warehouse in Malawi gave USAID officials the opportunity to see new grain grading and sorting equipment provided through a Strategic Partnership Grant to Vermeulen, which will enable regional exports of soy and groundnuts. Finally, a factory and farm visit at COMACO in Chipata, Zambia demonstrated how smallholder farmers will benefit from linkages to COMACO’s upgraded processing facility for the production of peanut butter.
Photo: USAID visits the Valid Nutrition processing plant in Malawi where workers assemble high-nutrition peanut butter packets to fight chronic malnutrition