In preparation for the Warehouse Receipts System (WRS) stakeholder meeting organized by USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub and hosted by the USAID/Mozambique Mission on November 19, 2015, Trade Hub Chief of Party Greg Maassen held discussions with leading partners and service providers including AppSolve, Cargill, and CLUSA in Maputo.
Consultations were also held with USAID Deputy Mission Director Sheryl Stumbras and the Policy and Partnerships Team Leader, Agriculture, Environment, and Business Office (AEB) Amanda Fong to review ongoing political developments in the agriculture and trade sectors in Mozambique.
Working closely with local partners, the Southern Africa Trade Hub piloted a private sector-led WRS pilot in Mozambique. The first-ever electronic warehouse receipt was issued on May 28, 2015 when a farmer delivered a ton of maize to the weighbridge site, was registered by the system, collected his warehouse receipt, and walked away with a loan approval and his grain safely stored in a Cargill warehouse. Maize prices rose from six to ten Meticais (roughly from US$0.16 to US$0.26) per kilogram between May and September, greatly benefiting the farmers who deposited grain when the WRS launched.
The WRS combines an understanding of traditional agriculture in Southern Africa with twenty-first century technology. A custom-designed online portal using Oracle software records each farmer’s grain deposit and issues an electronic receipt on the spot that can be used immediately for bank financing. As a result of USAID’s efforts, WRS is now seen as one of the most important tools for making agricultural finance and safe grain storage available to small-scale farmers in the region.
Photo: Grain dams at the ECA/Cargill site in Catandica, Mozambique