USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub has been supporting Agricultural Storage Investment Facilities (ASIF) to facilitate investment into warehousing across the region. As part of the ASIF initiative, the Trade Hub reached out to leading international technical agencies specializing in training on warehousing, warehouse receipt finance, and commodity exchanges, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the lead of the United Nations with responsibility for agriculture and food security.
As a result of Trade Hub efforts, in December 2015 the FAO decided to provide a capacity-building program in support of the ASIF warehouse investments. FAO will work closely with the Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa (ACE) and the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM) on the program, which will enable value chain players to understand, access, and use the new warehousing capacity in Malawi to their advantage.
Farmers and SMEs will be trained on the warehouse receipt system, benefits of storage, and the advantages of bulking to access better prices and lower unit costs. Commercial agribusiness and warehouse operators will learn warehouse and inventory management, integrating capacity into existing networks, and other issues related to third party storage.
The training program targeting farmers, SMEs, and agribusiness is scheduled to commence in the second quarter of 2016.
Photo: A comprehensive training and capacity building program is a key component to ensure successful utilization of USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub’s Agricultural Storage Investment Facilities (ASIF) to facilitate investment into warehousing across the region