U.K. research and consultancy group involved in grain marketing projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America

by Teresa Acklin
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   CHATHAM, ENGLAND — A U.K. research, consultancy and training group specializing in the post-harvest handling and marketing of grains has begun development work in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

   The Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich in Chatham is involved in several projects in these regions, including a maize marketing and pricing study in Mozambique; the development of warehouse receipt financing in Ghana, Zambia, Ethiopia and Mozambique; organization and technical support for national food security reserves in Ethiopia; improvements in farm-level storage in Namibia, Swaziland and Central America; development of grading systems in Ghana; improved handling and quality assurance for food aid in Zambia and Cameroon; and technical alternatives and cost-compliance for the phase-out of methyl bromide in the U.K., Senegal, Syria and Indonesia.

   “This work is particularly important at a time when liberalization programs have reduced the role of the state and introduced new challenges for producers and an emergent private trade,” said Jonathan Coulter, principal economist with the N.R.I. “Meanwhile, the reduced acceptance of storage pesticides is posing other challenges, requiring innovative approaches to pest management and quality maintenance.”

   The N.R.I. works with farmers, private traders and processors, bankers and governments, Mr. Coulter said. The organization similarly works with root crops, oilseeds and horticultural products.

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