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.
As a result of a Strategic Partnership Grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, new equipment was installed at Lumuno Organic Farms, a processing company that produces condiment sauces in Zambia.
In coordination with Southern African Grain Laboratories (SAGL), USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored an intensive ten-day training and certification course ending on July 31, 2015 for selected technicians from Malawi and Zambia.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is working in coordination with the USAID/Malawi INVC (Integrating Nutrition in Value Chains) program to raise awareness, improve standards, and bring quality to the Malawian groundnut supply chain. From July 13-22, 2015, three training workshops in Malawi sensitized farmers to the health and economic effects of aflatoxin contamination and demonstrated methods to decrease contamination at both the pre-and post-harvest stages.
On August 4, 2015, senior staff of the SADC Secretariat, government officials from the United States Embassy Botswana, USAID, and the Southern Africa Trade Hub gathered at the SADC Secretariat for a ceremony to celebrate the handover of the recently completed Regional Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Strategies for Food Safety, Plant and Animal Health.
From July 22-25, 2015 the Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted a Gender Animation and Mobilization Training Workshop for a large number of farmers and producers involved in the soy and groundnut value chains in Chimoio, the capital of Manica Province, Mozambique.
With the first “live” issuing and financing of a warehouse receipt (WR) on 28 May the software system – AfricaTradeApp – went from a demo environment to a live production environment in Mozambique. Although currently running two systems requires additional effort and cost, it is ideal for a continuous training and marketing environment.
This week strategic partner Sierk Ybema Grain Services (SYGS) completed its Regional Mobile Training Services (RMTS) program. The RMTS program was established in an effort to reduce post-harvest losses in the SADC Feed the Future (FtF) countries of Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia through certified grain training in storage and handling.
The Zambia Seed Trade Association (ZASTA), along with various members of the seed industry and the SA Trade Hub, gathered in Lusaka to review and consolidate the ongoing national partnership to enhance implementation of the SADC Seed Harmonization Protocol.
Based on the results of agricultural laboratory assessment surveys conducted in April and May 2015 in Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique by the SAGL (Southern African Grain Laboratories) at the behest of the SA Trade Hub, four lab technicians from the region were selected to attend a specialized training course in South Africa.
As part of its ongoing Aflatoxin mitigation initiatives, the SA Trade Hub recently held a training on the “Safe Disposal of Contaminated (Aflatoxin) Groundnuts,” in the premises of Afri-Nut, a partner food processor in Lilongwe, Malawi.