The Trade Hub’s agricultural activities are driven by USAID’s Feed the Future Strategy and focus on intra-regional trade in targeted value chains: maize, soybeans and groundnuts. Primary support is directed to the Feed the Future focal countries within the region (Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia) with special emphasis on encouraging investment and technology transfer from South African organizations in line with USAID’s Strategic Partnership with South Africa. The Trade Hub supports initiatives that improve trade in targeted agricultural commodities and improve food security. Read more

Lumuno organicDuring the week of September 28, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted a site visit to Strategic Partnership grantee Lumuno Farms, a chili sauce producer and demonstration organic farm located near Lusaka, Zambia. 

A technician calibrating the new HPCL acquired by Intertek for its Beira LaboratoryThanks to a Strategic Partnership Grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub (see September 25 Weekly Report), a new HPCL aflatoxin testing machine has now been commissioned at Intertek’s Beira agricultural laboratory, and imported foodstuffs and agricultural samples from World Food Program and World Vision are already being tested for mycotoxins.

A grain dam at Cargill/ECA being filled with maizeDuring the week of September 14-18, 2015, USAID’s Southern Trade Hub visited with Strategic Partnership Grantees throughout Mozambique to coordinate grant program implementation. 

COMACO Production Manager Chisanga Shula, Trade Hub Private Sector Engagement Specialist Kevin Kabunda, Pilot Letsatsi Struyf, Trade Hub Strategic Communications Advisor Brian McCotter, COMACO Marketing Director Joshua Shonga, and Trade Hub Chief of Party Gregory Maassen in Chipata, ZambiaDuring the week of September 21, 2015, a delegation from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub traveled to Zambia where it met with energy and environment counterparts from USAID/Zambia and held consultations with the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) in the run-up to a workshop that was held on September 22 to discuss the final stages of the Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (REFIT) regulations and pricing development. 

Students examine stored maize during a Grain Grading and Management course taught by Ybema in Lusaka, ZambiaFrom 2014 to June 2015, the Trade Hub supported Strategic Partnership Grantee Ybema Grain Services to expand its grain handling services throughout the Southern Africa region as the company provided multiple training sessions to various agricultural organizations.

Production Manager Chisanga Shula and Marketing Director Joshua Shonga, COMACO in Chipata, ZambiaCOMACO (Community Markets for Conservation) in Chipata, Zambia has increased output of its peanut butter product by threefold since the addition of new threshing, drying, and bottling equipment procured through a Strategic Partnership Grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub.

Littleton TazewellOn September 29, 2015, Umlimi Lokhonile Seeds (which means “the farmer is able”) from Swaziland launched MRI514, a hybrid maize seed from Syngenta MRI in Zambia, making Swaziland the first country to demonstrate practical implementation of the SADC harmonized seed system. Under the system, once a seed variety is approved in two SADC countries, it can be released in all SADC countries without extensive trials and paperwork, making investment in seed development more attractive and profitable.

Workshop participants were briefed on how the new high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) aflatoxin testing machine worksThrough a grant from USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub, Intertek Laboratories commissioned a new high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) (high performance liquid chromatography) aflatoxin testing machine at its Beira agricultural laboratory on September 22, 2015. It is believed that it will reduce the testing cost from US$120 per test (in South Africa) to about US$16 per test in Beira.

First Ever Warehouse Receipt Issued in ZambiaOn September 16, 2015, the first ever electronic warehouse receipt was issued to a farmer in exchange for 50 tons of maize at Grain Silo Services (GSS) in Lusaka.

The Zambian Agricultural Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE) requested Trade Hub support for the development of a Warehouse Receipt System (WRS) after witnessing the success of the Trade Hub-supported Warehouse Receipt Systems in Malawi and Mozambique in providing farmers with access to cheaper finance, higher prices, and safe storage for their crops.

Inspection of de-shelling machines at a training forum in NametilFollowing a series of aflatoxin trainings in Nampula, Mozambique, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub made a follow-up visit from September 6-13, 2015 to assess the success of the techniques trained and the possibility of scaling up. Eleven training forums were visited, which had trained 152 farmers, of which 107 were women.