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.
Groundnuts have been identified as a key diversification cash crop for smallholder farmers in Malawi, but farmers have trouble increasing production due to limited access to quality seed, as well as poor growing and post-harvest practices that damage crop quality and in turn limit access to markets.
Quality and safety services company Intertek recently established an Agricultural Testing Laboratory in Beira, Mozambique for chemical and microbiological testing. The grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is enabling Intertek to upgrade the laboratory with aflatoxin and wet chemistry testing services, which will give commercial traders the opportunity to have analysis done in-country at faster and more economical rates.
Through a Strategic Partnership Grant, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub has partnered with the Export Trading Group (ETG) to help ETG establish a Warehouse Receipts System (WRS) on four selected warehouse sites in Mozambique. WRS enables farmers and medium-sized traders to store their grains securely, use the stored grain to leverage credit, and sell their crops later in the season when prices are generally higher.
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.
As part of a Strategic Partnership Grant with USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, Cargill has partnered with Empresa de Comercialização Agrícola Ltd (ECA) in Mozambique to create market linkages for smallholder farmers living in rural Africa.Farmers in Mozambique, particularly smallholders, have limited access to markets and face many barriers to improving their incomes and livelihoods, due to infrastructural constraints and a history of conflict.
Research into improved seed varieties, especially drought-tolerant ones, is vital for improving food security in southern Africa. Through a Strategic Partnership Grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, Capstone, an independent South African seed company, entered into a joint venture with Peacock Enterprises Ltd of Malawi to multiply and market "CAP9001."
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 awarded a US$65,000 grant to Intertek SA to establish a facility to test for aflatoxin and other mycotoxins in Beira, Mozambique. Intertek provided the balance required to establish a state-of-the art laboratory testing facility in Mozambique, which is now open for business.