Based on the results of agricultural laboratory assessment surveys conducted in April and May 2015 in Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique by the SAGL (Southern African Grain Laboratories) at the behest of the SA Trade Hub, four lab technicians from the region were selected to attend a specialized training course in South Africa.
The SA Trade Hub sponsored the course as part of its efforts to improve the standards and quality of the agricultural value chains for soy, maize, and groundnuts for its three targeted FTF countries. Southern African Grain Laboratories is one of the leading laboratory training facilities in Africa and annually hosts specialized ISO accreditation training for West and Eastern African countries.
The training program addressed how to deal with challenges associated with basic infrastructure such as water and electricity to support efficient testing activities; information on how to maintain, service and calibrate testing equipment; an understanding of the implementation of the requirements of ISO 17025; how to develop a documentation system, both technical and management; creating a basic understanding of good laboratory practices and fundamental laboratory housekeeping requirements – including laboratory etiquette; and, practical hands-on training to utilize sophisticated laboratory and analytical equipment. Grain, oilseeds, and Aflatoxin grading, analysis, and chemical testing were also critical parts of the lab training course.
Photo: Feed-the Future lab training in South Africa