David Du Plessis In December 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub closed out its grant to Intertek Laboratories after successful implementation.

The Trade Hub provided a US$65,000 strategic partnership grant to Intertek Laboratories SA to transfer technology to Mozambique for the purpose of establishing accredited agricultural laboratory and testing services. The grant was designed to improve the standards and quality of Mozambican groundnuts and other cereals prone to aflatoxin contamination, making them safer for domestic consumption and more competitive for export.

With the grant, Intertek purchased the latest version of a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) testing machine for its Beira agricultural laboratory. The machine was commissioned on September 22, 2015, and imported foodstuffs and agricultural samples from World Food Program and World Vision are now being tested for mycotoxins.

Fast and accurate test results are an important factor encouraging regional and international trade. The new machine can run 300 samples at a time, making it the only laboratory in Mozambique that can provide test results within six days. Samples previously had to be sent to South Africa with results taking up to three months. Aflatoxin testing at the Beira facility is also being done at a fraction of the cost of sending samples to South Africa.

Commercial grain and oilseed traders are expected to benefit significantly from the grant, while smallholder farmers are also expected to benefit as a result of increased trade and a more competitive agricultural sector in Mozambique.

Photo: Intertek Country Director David Du Plessis branding new Intertek equipment with USAID logo

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