Through a Strategic Partnership Grant, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub worked with Vetlab to help create the first private ISO17025-accredited grain and oil seed laboratory service, including aflatoxin testing, in Zambia.
On December 15, 2015, the Hon. Given Lubinda, Zambia’s Minister of Agriculture, commissioned the launch of services by the Zambian Agricultural Commodities Exchange (ZAMACE).
Small scale vegetable-producing farmers in Zambia lack access to sustainable and reliable markets for their produce. Lumuno Organic Farms is a fast-growing producer of chili sauce based in the Chongwe District in Zambia. Through the Strategic Partnership Grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, Zhauns (Pty) Ltd is providing the necessary technology, equipment, and training for Lumono to upgrade its processing capacity and develop its product for export.
The grant made the inaugural Agritech Expo in 2014 in Chisamba, Zambia possible and brought together the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) with Spintelligent, a professional events management service provider. Agritech Expo, the largest commercial agricultural show in Southern Africa outside of South Africa, is a business-to-business platform for farmers to converge in one arena, address key issues, discuss past and future projects, and exchange views on agriculture in the region.
Zambia was once a major producer and exporter of groundnuts; however, production has fallen due to continued replanting of self-saved commercial crops (promoting diseases and genetic shift) and the lack of high yielding and marketable varieties.
The Strategic Partnership Grant was awarded to NWK South Africa to stimulate investment into their Zambian subsidiary NWK Agro Services. NWK Agro Services acquired the former Dunavant Cotton Company in 2010, inheriting an outgrower base estimated at over 100,000 contract farmers.
Due to domestic market issues, groundnut production in South Africa has declined significantly in the last ten years. With its ideal climate and traditional knowledge of groundnuts, Zambia could make up South Africa’s shortfall all on its own. But due to high levels of aflatoxin contamination, many markets have been closed to Zambian groundnuts and the hundreds of thousands of households that grow them.
Through a Strategic Partnership grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub with CASS and Agseeds Mozambique, a seed cleaning and conditioning plant is being installed to enable onsite seed multiplication. The seed produced will be marketed by agricultural development programs, private sector outgrowers, and through direct sales. CASS and its partners are providing market development, farmer training and technology support.
Through the grant, Ammtech established a 250kg per hour peanut butter processing plant at the COMACO premises in Chipata in the Eastern Province of Zambia. The plant improved the availability of fortified foods in the region and increased demand for raw groundnuts to feed the plant, guaranteeing a stable market for smallholder groundnut farmers.
Lack of grain storage infrastructure in Zambia has restricted the ability of small scale farmers in remote areas to market their maize, soy, and other crops at competitive prices. The Strategic Partnership Grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub to AFGRI facilitated the construction of a satellite storage/buying facility in Petauke to provide market access to smallholder farmers.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is conducting gender training for Ammtech/COMACO, a strategic partnership grantee based in Chipata, Zambia to identify gender patterns, power dynamics, gender roles, rights, and opportunities related to COMACO beneficiaries (farmers) in the Nzamane, Mpenzeni, and Mbangombe cooperatives.
From November 22 to December 16, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is conducting gender research and training for Ammtech/COMACO, a strategic partnership grantee based in Chipata, Zambia to support the Trade Hub’s goal of integrating gender into the policies and procedures of grantee organizations.
During the week of November 23, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub began an impact assessment of the project’s interventions in the regional groundnut value chain. The Trade Hub has implemented various strategic activities in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia to combat aflatoxin, improve the safety of groundnuts and groundnut products for domestic consumption, and increase the competitiveness of groundnuts in export markets.
In November 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub completed a set of officially branded Feed the Future (FTF) project videos. Feed the Future is the US Government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative.
On November 4, 2015, the USAID Southern Africa Mission visited strategic partnership grantees PMD packaging/Valid Nutrition and MH Boerdery/NASFAM in Lilongwe, Malawi. Paul Pleva and William Benjamin were joined by Cullen Hughes and Carol Jenkins from USAID Malawi.
From October 27-29, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub finance and investment advisors were in Lusaka to assist the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) to reach out to commercial banks and financiers to better understand the financing opportunities presented by the development of a warehouse receipt system by the Zambia Commodities Exchange (ZAMACE).
During 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.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is helping to establish an online management information system at the Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI), the organization responsible for control and certification of the seed industry in Zambia. The new management information system, called “Seed-Lab,” will improve the services available at SCCI and will automate the entire seed inspection and verification process in the country.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub has a Strategic Partnership grant with Lumuno Farms, a chili sauce producer and demonstration organic farm located near Lusaka, Zambia. In response to the farm’s increased productivity made possible by the Trade Hub grant, Lumuno is exploring regional markets and receiving major interest in its products.
During 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.
From 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.
COMACO (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.
On 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is assisting the Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI) in Zambia to develop a new data management system which will enable seed companies to register seed growers online and receive their licenses by email from SCCI, improving the speed of registration and application. The system has been finalized and is being reviewed by the Trade Hub in preparation for its launch in August 2015.
Through a strategic partnership grant leveraging the technology and expertise of South African company Ammtech, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is supporting the upgrade of COMACO’s peanut butter processing plant in Zambia. Over the past few weeks, Ammtech has been on location with COMACO to install and commission new equipment, transferring the skills needed to maintain and operate the improved technology.
USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub partner, Deltamune SA, launched a new brand and logo for the recently upgraded Vetlab laboratory service in Lusaka, Zambia, on June 11, 2015. Detamune SA acquired a majority stake in the Vetlab laboratory service in December 2014.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is providing technical support for the Zambia Agricultural Commodities Exchange (ZAMACE) warehouse receipts system to be launched in time for the 2015 harvest season.
The Trade Hub participated in the Southern Africa Feed the Future (FtF) regional workshop with three presentations as part of the Advancing Intra-Regional Trade and Investment session, chaired by USAID's Deputy Director of the Regional Economic Growth Office, Nancy Whitney.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub demonstrated the AppSolve IT systems software for Warehouse Receipts to ZAMACE (Zambia Agricultural Commodities Exchange) and the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE), which has resulted in Zambia deciding last week to adopt the system. The AppSolve IT system provides an online data collection platform that will enable ZAMACE to issue warehouse receipts electronically in time for the next farming season. The Trade Hub demonstrated the system to ZAMACE in a live connectivity extension training in Mozambique.
Last week USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub visited four Strategic Partnership Grant (SPG) activity sites in Zambia including VetLabs, Lumuno Organic Farms, COMACO, and NWK to perform due diligence on grant implementation and benchmark successes to date. The grants are leveraging the skills, knowledge, and technology of South African companies to address agricultural issues in Feed the Future countries related to laboratory testing, groundnut processing, crop diversification and increased soil fertility, and decreasing malnutrition.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub attended an awareness-raising workshop convened by the Zambia Seed Trade Association (ZASTA) to inform key personnel in seed companies of the harmonized seed regulations and measures in the SADC Region and to encourage participants to implement the regulations. The workshop was designed to simplify the information available in order to increase participation and regional seed release registration on the SADC Seed Center Catalogue, which is being supported by the Trade Hub.
USAID Southern Africa Director of the Regional Economic Growth Office, Mark Wilt and Bill Benjamin, USAID’s Feed the Future Coordinator and Agriculture Team Leader toured the Cargill facility in Catandica, Mozambique, which is being upgraded through a Strategic Partnership Grant.
The Southern Africa Trade Hub, through its Strategic Partnership grantee Solidaridad, sponsored a training session in Chimoio, Mozambique from April 23-24 for field extension workers on gender integration in the soy and groundnut value chains. The grant is designed to restore soil composition and fertility and livelihood enhancement through crop rotation. Participants took part in the training from multiple organizations, including the private sector (OLAM), the public sector, and NGOs Solidaridad and the Farmers’ Association.
The Trade Hub is providing support for the integration of gender specific interventions into the HM Boerdery Strategic Partnership Grant, which focuses on groundnut value chain development in Malawi. It is estimated that 7,000 smallholder groundnut producers in Malawi (60% of whom are women) will benefit from the grant, which is creating farmer trainers to disseminate knowledge on aflatoxin control. As part of the grant, the groundnut sorting and grading facilities of the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) will be upgraded, enabling small-scale groundnut farmers to achieve higher prices for their product.
From April 17-19, the Agritech Expo in Chisamba, Zambia promoted technology and skills transfer to the regional farming community of Southern Africa. Over 10,000 small, emergent, and commercial farmers as well as members of the public attended the Expo—a 20% increase over last year’s numbers—to investigate new products, technologies, processing methods, and applications in the agriculture sector. Zambia’s Vice President Inonge Mutukwa Wina officially opened the 2015 event, stating that the Agritech Expo is a magnificent innovation exposing farmers to practical solutions.