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.
During the week of September 7-11, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub training on grain grading and testing was passed on to local lab technicians at Vetlabs-Deltamune in Lusaka, Zambia.
During a field visit to Zambia from August 23-29, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub established that Strategic Partnership Grantee Jungle Beat has made additional investments of more than US$200,000 to procure equipment out of South Africa and further grow its business in the country. Jungle Beat has also secured export orders for 400 metric tons with companies in South Africa valued at approximately US$300,000.
On August 12, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored a workshop introducing Zambian millers, agrifood processors, storage operators and commercial farmers to Blue Box technology to help control aflatoxin contamination in storage facilities.
The SA Trade Hub Communications Team is in the process of developing and producing a number of video products designed to capture the USAID program’s five years of diverse, market-oriented activities and influence.
On 25 August 2015, the SA Trade Hub grants team visited VetLabs in Lusaka, Zambia, who through a strategic partnership with Deltamune of South Africa, is in the process of establishing the first private ISO 17025 accredited testing facilities in Zambia. This project was initiated in September 2014 through a strategic partnership grant (SPG).
The SA Trade Hub and partner INVC are assisting NASFAM and CADECOM to train farmer leaders in aflatoxin management and mitigation in Malawi. These efforts are aimed at improving the standard and quality of groundnuts for the NASFAM, Afrinut, and Valid Nutrition supply chains.
From August 7-11, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub trained warehouse managers from ETG on the basic concepts of the Warehouse Receipts System (WRS) and demonstrated a live connectivity session to prepare Northern Mozambique for WRS, which was launched in Mozambique in May 2015.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is currently developing an Agricultural Storage Investment Facilities (ASIF) in Malawi with subsequent replication into Zambia. After a stakeholder consultation in 2013 revealed a severe shortage of agri-warehousing in Malawi, the Trade Hub worked to convene relevant organizations to facilitate financing and investment into warehousing and to address investment bottlenecks.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in conjunction with two of its Strategic Partnership Grantees, organized two trainings during the week of August 10, 2015 in Malawi on the Safe Use of Pesticides for smallholder farmers and warehouse staff.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted a Gender Animation and Mobilization Training in Catandica, Mozambique from August 5-7, 2015. The workshop was a follow-up to previous gender equality integration efforts by the Trade Hub in the agricultural value chains and was attended by representatives of farmer groups and community-based organizations.