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.
The Southern Africa Trade Hub strategic partnership grant enabled SYGS to conduct six training courses over the past year, reaching 120 grain handling workers throughout Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia. At the end of each training program, participants gained a clear understanding of and were certified in the following subject areas:
• How to calibrate, maintain and use grading equipment;
• How to grade and classify maize based on its defects and characteristics;
• How to grade and classify soya beans based on its defects and characteristics;
• How to handle grain that is received at grain depots;
• How to manage grain received by grain depots;
• How to safely store grain at the depots;
• How to control pests during the storage of the grain at the depots;
• The benefits of grain handling in bulk as opposed to bags;
• Warehouse procedures and protocol; and,
• The risks and losses associated with poor post-harvest grain handling, storage, and management.
Additionally, in Zambia SYGS established a Bags2Bulk initiative with their partner, AGCO, encouraging traders to buy from small-scale farmers using bags to store the grain as well as storing the grain in bulk. Storing can reduce post-harvest losses caused by insect damage, a factor that results in up to 60-80% of losses in FtF countries. Due to the regional exposure SYGS received through the strategic partnership, it is now in discussion with 10 new organizations throughout SADC who are interested in receiving grain handling and storage training. Additionally, organizations in Tanzania and the UAE (Dubai) have contacted SYGS to discuss their training offerings.
Photo: Jan Ybema from SYGS conducting a grain handling training at Cargill/ECA in Catandica, Mozambique