Individual markets in Africa vary greatly, but the continent as a whole offers significant potential demand for U.S. ethanol exports.
Brian Healy, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) manager of ethanol export market development, recently traveled to Kenya to evaluate and develop opportunities for U.S. ethanol in the continent and speak at a regional ethanol and sugar conference. There, he was able to engage with senior agricultural, energy and environmental ministry officials to learn more about ethanol production, use and trade across the region.
Seeing is often believing, which is why the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) brought corn and feed grain buyers from Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia to the U.S. Corn Belt in September to talk firsthand with U.S. farmers and export suppliers.
Which comes first - the market or the demand? This is a philosophical question for U.S. farmers and agribusinesses that is perhaps more relevant than chicken or eggs, and one that the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) works to answer from both directions.
In West Africa, a focus on helping start and expand poultry operations is paving the way for new export markets for U.S. feed grains and co-products.
The government of Tanzania removed a cost-prohibitive value-added tax on the sale of animal feed earlier this summer in part thanks to the combined efforts of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the Tanzanian poultry and animal feed industry associations.
The agricultural sector in Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa, is undergoing dramatic, positive changes, and the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is setting the stage for future demand for U.S. feed grains and co-products there.
Increasing U.S. exports is not just a matter of capturing existing market share. Finding new markets creates additional demand, and helping build those markets secures a preference for U.S. feed grains and value-added products. In West Africa, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is engaging with training programs poultry producers, establishing a brand-new market for U.S. corn.
U.S. Grains Council (USGC) programming helped one poultry producer in Tanzania shift her burgeoning poultry business into a full-blown brand of frozen chicken.
The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the Moroccan Poultry Association (known as FISA) sponsored the first in a series of training programs for West African poultry producers this month in Casablanca, with FISA and the Senegalese Poultry Association further cementing their relationship through a new memorandum of cooperation.
New engagement by U.S. Grains Council (USGC) staff and members in South Africa over the past year has helped achieve export victories there, with recent sales of U.S. sorghum and biotechnology trait approvals that will allow imports of U.S. corn.
In 2015 and 2016, as a result of El Nino, the country suffered a severe drought, leading its feed industry to import U.S. corn for the first time in almost a decade. South Africa uses both yellow corn for animal feed and white corn for a staple food known locally as pap or mieliepap.
As the initial grant funding period for the U.S. Grains Council's (USGC) Food for Progress program in Tanzania approaches completion at the end of this year, the Council is looking ahead to an intensive and constructive 2017 program meant to ensure its ongoing success.
The Tanzania project launched in 2014 with the goals of promoting quality feed formulations for poultry; developing self-sufficient industry associations for poultry producers and feed manufacturers; and improving local broiler and layer production through training seminars.