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.
The training was facilitated by Dr. Elrisa Taljaard, who attended the Trade Hub-sponsored ten-day intensive training course at the end of July 2015, which was designed for laboratory technicians from Feed the Future countries and was presented by the South African Grain Laboratory (SAGL).
As a result of training on this critical component, the facility will now be able to offer independent and reliable testing services to the grain and oilseed sectors in Zambia. Presently no independent referral laboratories exist in Malawi, Mozambique or Zambia for the grain and oilseed sectors. Vetlabs-Deltamune will be the first to achieve this status by early October 2015.
Independent laboratory services are an important link in the agricultural value chains regionally, enabling commodities exchanges to sustain reputable standards through which traders and buyers can settle disputes and arbitrate variances. The new lab services will also encourage foreign investment and enable forward supply contracts to be secured through the exchange.
Photo: Laboratory technician at work in the Lusaka Deltamune-Vetlabs facility