Standards and Quality Inspection Unit (SQIU)
The main purpose of the Standards and Quality Inspection Unit (SQIU) in the Agency is to maintain the quality of the crop that is procured annually, stored and ensure that grain losses do not occur. The unit also ensures that at the time of exposing the stored grain for sell, the grain meets international standards.
In order to achieve the above, the key responsibilities for the Unit include:
- Training warehouse managers who manage the grain. They are trained on good grain and warehouse management.
- Ensures that the crop that is stored is free from storage pests. One of the routine controls of storage pests is fumigation. The SQIU supervises fumigators who are outsourced to do fumigation for the Agency. It also conducts in-house fumigation for stocks that the fumigators cannot fumigate due to the low quantity or in difficult to reach areas. The unit ensures that the routine residual spraying is followed.
- Participates in the selection tender to engage fumigators and also selection of other service providers.
- Inspects and monitors stock quality regularly by collecting grain samples and analyzing them in the grain laboratory. Thereafter, the samples are graded into the various grades. The unit facilitates exposure for sale of any under grade maize that may arise in the Agency.
Figure 1: FRA Total Stocks handled by Stocks Destructed, 2009-2016
A comparison of stocks handled to stocks destructed shows that over an eight year period (2009-2016), stock losses have not exceeded a percentage point except for the year 2012. Prudent and non-wasteful stock management-industry standard- requires that stock handled by stock losses be under 2 percent.