Council Feed Center Supports Development, Expansion Of Local Feed, Livestock Industries

Earlier this month, a team of feed industry professionals from across the Middle East and Kenya attended a one-week short course focused on feed manufacturing and poultry production management at the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) regional feed training center in Tunis, Tunisia.

The training brought together nine participants from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan and Kenya and was facilitated in partnership with the Tunisian National Institute for Agronomy (INAT), where the training center is located, as well as expert staff from Iowa State University (ISU) and the Northern Crop Institute (NCI). Funded by the Council’s Section 108 funds, the comprehensive program combined in-classroom seminars with practical hands-on exercises in the feed center’s training feed mill.

Tunisian feed industry professionals from the Council’s train-the-trainer program offered and led the program. Held at ISU and NCI and funded by a U.S. Department of State grant, the group gained knowledge in feed manufacturing as well as practical experience in how to conduct trainings.

Course curriculum was tailored to the specific opportunities and challenges facing the markets represented. The training center was established to help support the development and expansion of the feed industry across the Middle East and Africa, recognizing every market is unique, and as such, has unique challenges to address. During this month’s training, a heavy emphasis on grain management in hot climates as well as pellet quality and mill capacity were of particular interest to attendees.

Hands-on training in the feed mill allowed participants to gain additional insights into best practices for milling techniques as well as particle size reduction. Attendees participated in field visits to a local commercial feed mill and a poultry operation at which they exchanged knowledge and ideas directly with Tunisian feed industry representatives. A key component of the training program is allowing participants to share experiences from their local feed industry.

“Using the feed center in Tunisia is an opportunity for the Council to enhance its influence around the Middle East and Africa region,” said Mohamed Salah Bouthour, the USGC assistant regional director for Africa. “The Council will use the one-week program to continue expanding its educational program on the benefits of U.S corn and corn co-products use in the Middle East and Africa feed milling sector by addressing the market constraints that limit expansion in the industry.”

Expansion of the feed center into a regional training hub for the Middle East and Africa has been a goal since its inception in 2018. To date, more than 300 individuals (both virtually and in-person) representing more than 17 countries across the region have attended a short course at the feed center. Under Section 108 funding, the feed center will continue its goal to support the development and expansion of local feed and livestock industries, while simultaneously building longer-term demand for U.S. feed grains across the region.