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 third week of January 2016, grain specialists from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub facilitated a stakeholders’ workshop in Malawi on the Harmonization of National Grading Standards for the country.
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.
During the week of January 18, 2016, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub met with Jennifer Cupp, the USAID Digital Content and Engagement Lead for Feed the Future (FtF) Programs, in Washington, DC to review and deliver a set of the recently completed Southern Africa Trade Hub videos that have been officially Feed the Future co-branded with USAID.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub grant partner Cargill has started extension and implementation training for the Market Information System (MIS), which will interface with the Warehouse Receipts System at www.mozwarehouse.com, providing transparent market prices and comprehensive information to support Mozambique’s agricultural sector.
At the end of December 2015, the Southern Africa Trade Hub officially presented the Oracle Sustainable Innovation Award 2015 to the Southern Africa Regional Mission in Pretoria, South Africa.
In December 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub closed out its grant to Intertek Laboratories after successful implementation.
During the last week of December 2015, Strategic Partnership Grantee Valid Nutrition prepared to participate in a global tender for the supply of Ready to Use Complementary Food (RUCF) to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Without the grant through USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, this would not have been possible.
From December 16-19, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub reviewed the draft Malawi Seed Law in Lilongwe to ensure its harmonization with the SADC Model Law. In addition to meeting Lynn Schneider, USAID/Malawi Feed the Future Coordinator, the Senior Legal Advisor also met with Prince Kapondamgaga and Dr. Candida Nakhumwa, the CEO and Deputy CEO respectively of the Malawi Farmers’ Union.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is supporting the creation of a Market Information System (MIS) that will provide transparent market prices and comprehensive information to support the agriculture sector in Mozambique.
The Agricultural Storage Investment Facility (ASIF) strategy of USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub came a significant step closer to fruition during the week of December 7, 2015, with the final project appraisal in Malawi by the European Investment Bank (EIB) for a warehouse investment credit line to agribusiness through a prominent Malawian bank.