News & Events
Hesham Hassanein has stepped down as the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) regional director of the Middle East and Africa, as of June 5. Despite this staff change, the Council remains committed to its presence and programs in the Middle East, Africa and Europe region and is assessing options to maintain USGC representation in this critical area of the world.
During a recent mission to South Africa, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) staff urged local grain buyers to visit the United States immediately following a planned trip to Mexico to also learn about the U.S. grain handling system and quality standards. This program came to fruition at the end of May when these buyers visited Washington, D.C., and Indiana.
The Middle East and North Africa region is geographically closer to a competitor country, Ukraine, and as such, requires consistent attention to have U.S. corn and co-products, such as distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), remain top-of-mind for feed buyers. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) staff made progress towards this goal last week by attending the Global Grain Middle East and North Africa conference in Dubai.
A U.S. Grains Council (USGC) mission uncovered a near-term opportunity for U.S. feed grain exports to South Africa late last year after El Niño created a severe drought in that country. This week, a team including USGC staff and a member delegate followed up on these findings by meeting with South African grain importers, end-users and government officials regarding the country’s white and yellow corn deficit.
By: Anne Zaczek, U.S. Grains Council Manager of Global Development Programs
A ceremony was held this month honoring the Tanzanian Central Veterinary Lab (CVL) staff with certificates for completing a U.S. Grains Council- (USGC) sponsored training program focused on new lab equipment and best management practices.
The U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) outreach program in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) promoting U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) continued last month with feed consultants traveling to both Algeria and Egypt to meet with potential customers.
The Council’s efforts in this region are focused on maximizing the U.S. competitive advantage for U.S corn, sorghum and co-product exports. A large number of countries and a changing market environment have pointed Council staff and consultants to new marketing opportunities, including for DDGS.
During this marketing year, U.S. origin sales have backed off due to higher global grain supplies, lower demand, economic uncertainty and a stronger U.S. dollar. The Council is responding to this shift in the market by reminding global customers of the true value of the U.S. brand.
The U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) vision to create a fully modernized, self-sustaining lab with the Central Veterinary Laboratory (CVL), the certified feed quality lab for the Tanzanian government, may come to fruition by the end of this year.
Tarsila Kunda Mashelle was identified early in the ongoing U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Food for Progress program in Tanzania as a poultry producer who could benefit from one-on-one training. Just over a year later, this outreach has paid off in concrete results. She has already made many improvements in her flock management techniques and grown her flock to include 6,000 layers that are overseen by four staff members.
A Tanzanian egg producer named Neema Minja has reaped the benefits of the U.S. Grains Council’s ongoing Food for Progress project in Tanzania, helping her overcome barriers including lack of financing and theft. Now her eggs are in high demand at local supermarkets, but even that process was not simple.
One Tanzania poultry farmer, Godwin Mrema, has especially benefited from the one-on-one trainings he received from the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) programs in that country, taking a calculated risk to change his feed formulations in the hope of increased productivity and profit.