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Zambia: Zambia gets new project to enhance food security


A new project geared towards reducing post-maize harvest losses and improving grain handling in Zambia was Thursday launched in the country

The project dubbed, 'Bags2Bulk Project' is said to be a product of partnership spearheaded by 'AGCO', a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, and partners 'Feed the Next' Partnering for Innovation (a US Agency for International Development-funded programme).

“With 80% of Zambia’s maize produced by smallholder farmers, there is significant request for improved grain storage facilities,” Nuradin Osman, AGCO Director Operations for Africa and Middle East, was quoted as saying.

“These producers primarily use recycled bags for storage, and it is estimated that 30% of grain is lost post-harvest as a result of rot, rodent and insect damage.'

According to the statement, the new project will introduce and sell 40 metal storage silos at grain trader level benefitting 12,000 smallholder farmers.

'The bulk silos, manufactured under AGCO’s GSI brand, will enable smallholder farms and traders to safely store larger quantities of maize in order to maintain grain quality. Added to this is the potential for them to make sales at a later date at the same time as prices may be additional advantageous,” Mr. Osman remarked.

The statement disclosed that in the initial of several product demonstrations scheduled for Zambia’s Central and Eastern Provinces, additional than 75 grain traders recently attended a roadshow in Mkushi to view the silos in action.

The Bags2Bulk project is said to be the initial partnership between AGCO and Feed the Next, the US Government’s world hunger and food security initiative led by USAID.

Feed the Next Partnering for Innovation, a programme under the initiative, funds off-the-shelf technologies to increase smallholder productivity and competitiveness.

The statement further pointed out that along with the supply of 2.5-500 tonne capacity silos, the scope of Bags2Bulk included provision of product training and demonstrations, marketing and the facilitation of finance.

Meanwhile, AGCO’s consortium of operational partners for Bags2Bulk includes GSI Africa, distributor for GSI grain storage and handling technology in Zambia; Musika, a Not For Profit Company which works to stimulate private sector investment in the smallholder market, and Ybema Grain Services, an accredited grain trader.

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