Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation is pleased to announce a new partnership with AGCO Corporation. With 80% of the maize in Zambia coming from smallholder farmers, there is significant demand for improved storage facilities. Over the next 18 months, AGCO and partners will introduce and sell 40 metal storage silos at the grain trader level benefiting 12,000 smallholder farmers. This new activity, Bags2Bulk, will also complement AGCO's long-term vision in Zambia with select activities taking place at the Future Farm.
Currently, smallholder farmers have limited to no on-farm storage options and use sub-optimal facilities offered by local grain traders. Smallholders primarily use recycled plastic bags to store grain and combined with grain trader damp on-farm conditions, this results in total annual post-harvest losses of over 30% from rot, rodent, and insect damage. Limited quality storage options also limit farmer ability to store the harvest and sell for a higher price later in the season. In addition, storage and transport of maize in bags is less efficient for traders and aggregators who prefer to receive grain in bulk. The result is that only a limited number of smallholder farmers connect daily to traders and buyers during Zambia’s storage season, a 6-month period from June to December. Improved storage systems using metal storage silos instead of bags will address these market inefficiencies and enable smallholder farmers and traders to safely store larger quantities of maize for later sales when prices may be more advantageous to both them and small farmers.
Partnering for Innovation is excited about this new relationship and looks forward to sharing results! Follow Louisa Parker from AGCO to learn more!