Bags2Bulk project will enhance Zambia's food security through improved grain storage, reduced post-harvest losses
AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, has launched a partnership with Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation (a US Agency for International Development-funded program) to reduce post-maize harvest losses and improve grain handling in Zambia.
The new Bags2Bulk project will see AGCO and it partners, GSI Africa, Musika and Ybema Grain Services, introduce and sell 40 metal storage silos at grain trader level benefitting 12,000 smallholder farmers. In the first of several product demonstrations scheduled for Zambia’s Central and Eastern Provinces, more than 75 grain traders recently attended a roadshow in Mkushi to view the silos in action.
“With 80% of Zambia’s maize produced by smallholder farmers, there is significant demand for improved grain storage facilities,” says Nuradin Osman, AGCO Director Operations Africa and Middle East. “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. 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 when prices may be more advantageous.”
Bags2Bulk is the first partnership between AGCO and Feed the Future, the US Government’s global hunger and food security initiative led by USAID. Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation, a program under this initiative, funds off-the-shelf technologies to increase smallholder productivity and competitiveness.
Along with the supply of 2.5-500 tonne capacity silos, the scope of Bags2Bulk includes provision of product training and demonstrations, marketing and the facilitation of finance.
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.
Source: African Press Organization