The grant is assisting VETLAB to provide the first private ISO17025 accredited grain and oil seed laboratory service, including aflatoxin testing, in Zambia. This will create the first laboratory accredited with these services within SADC outside South Africa. Independent laboratory services are an important link in the regional agricultural value chains, enabling commodities exchanges to sustain reputable standards through which traders and buyers can settle disputes and arbitrate variances.
The new laboratory services also encourage foreign investment and enable forward supply contracts to be secured through the exchange.
- Deltamune will take over management, place a qualified resident laboratory manager and provide for VETLAB staff development.
- Deltamune will establish a trajectory that will enable VETLAB operations to achieve ISO 17025 accreditation within two years as the medium to long term objective with the assistance of Deltamune to include an accredited grain laboratory service.
- Deltamune will also ensure that new aflatoxin mitigation testing services will be provided by VETLAB operations to align with local market and export demand in improved standards and quality for agricultural value chains, specifically groundnuts where export demand is growing every year.
- Deltamune will market VETLAB services to the agricultural sector in Zambia, expanding beyond VETLAB’s traditional feed and poultry client base.
- The direct beneficiaries of this program are agribusiness sector and companies that require ISO 17025 accredited laboratory services including feed manufacturers, poultry producers, food manufacturers, grain traders, millers, and dairy operators.
- Smallholder producers of grain and oilseed crops will indirectly benefit as more trade will be able to take place both within Zambia and regionally.
Results and Outcomes
- Deltamune has completed installation of a new water system and internal structures to upgrade the lab. VETLAB and Deltamune have also begun mycotoxin testing. Staff training is ongoing and includes enhancing grading, equipment utilization, and testing methods. The team is continuing to prepare its standard operating procedures as part of the ISO17025 accreditation process, which they hope to receive during 2016.