Certified warehouse managers who have been trained to store and manage grain properly play an important role in reducing post-harvest losses caused by mold and insect damageUp to twenty percent of grain that goes into storage in southern Africa is lost before it can be used, wasting millions of tons of product every year. A significant amount of grain is also never graded, which lowers the overall price of the grain and inhibits export. 

USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub partnered with Ybema Grain Services on a Strategic Partnership Grant to provide training services to storage operators in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia on grain management and grading to reduce post-harvest losses. Certified storage operators are also an important aspect of the Warehouse Receipts System, which requires warehouses to have accreditation so they can comply with insurance requirements and access bank financing.

Objectives

  • At the end of each training program, participants are certified in basic concepts of grain grading and management, with specific skills including how to calibrate, maintain and use grading equipment; how to grade and classify maize and soy based on defects and characteristics; how to handle, manage, and safely store grain received at grain depots; how to control pests; 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.

Beneficiaries

  • Small, medium, and large grain and oil seed storage operators (including traders and farmer groups) in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia who will have access to high quality grain storage training, reduce grain losses, and be able to supply the market with better grades of grain and oil seeds.

Results and Outcomes

  • Ybema Grain Services conducted courses in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia resulting in the issuance of accredited competency certificates in Basic Competency Grain Management, Storage, and Grain Handling.
  • Due to the regional exposure Ybema received through the grant, it is now in discussion with ten new organizations throughout SADC who are interested in receiving grain handling and storage training.

Photo: Certified warehouse managers who have been trained to store and manage grain properly play an important role in reducing post-harvest losses caused by mold and insect damage

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