With increasing interest in U.S. corn and corn-co-products in the region, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is hosting a poultry and feed management short course this week for leading feed companies across the Middle East. Held virtually, this program brings together 35 participants from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Oman to increase their understanding and familiarity with U.S. corn and co-products, its uses and nutritional value when used within poultry rations.
Held over five days, the program covers all aspects of poultry and feed manufacturing, including an overview of U.S. grain grading and standards, feed ingredient handling and storage and poultry management in hot climates, among other topics. The program brings together leading poultry and feed industry experts in the field from Iowa State University (ISU), Auburn University and the University of Arkansas as well as INAT – the National Agronomic Institute in Tunisia (the Council’s local partner in Tunis).
The training is being conducted on the Council’s newly created e-platform for its Center for Feed Manufacturing, based in Tunis, Tunisia. It combines individual learning modules and course material with seminars conducted live with program instructors to allow discussion and questions among participants. Technical, hands-on exercises will be conducted in the Center’s state-of-the-art feed mill and refurbished laboratory, facilitated by local trainers who have previously attended feed manufacturing training both in Tunis and the United States, under the Council’s recently completed U.S. Department of State-funded feed manufacturing training program – which also funded the equipment housed at INAT’s feed mill.
While virtual, the program has been designed to allow for as much interaction as possible between instructors and participants, with successful participants receiving a program certificate following the completion of all course sessions.
Driven by the high demand for protein, the feed market in Saudi Arabia has increased imports of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) supplied from the U.S. from 13 thousand metric tons (TMT) imported in both 2018 and 2019 to 24 TMT in 2020, signaling a growing market for DDGS. Because of this, the program will incorporate sessions focused on DDGS production, uses and nutritional value for participants.
“Through the programs, the Council aims to explain the benefits of DDGS use in the Saudi feed industry by addressing market constraints that limit expansion in the industry,” said Ramy Taieb, USGC regional director for the Middle East and Africa.
The Council’s recent efforts are focused on ensuring feed mills and producers are using appropriate feed ratios to secure market opportunities for DDGS.
“The poultry feed training program will engage feed mill operations and livestock producers in the Saudi poultry sectors in extensive training programs to improve overall feed manufacturing,” Taieb said. “The program will also help modernize the feed and livestock industries in the country and lead to the professionalization of these sectors.”
As a result of the Council’s educational efforts, the feed industry in Saudi Arabia purchased 15,000 metric tons in the marketing year 2020/2021 (through March 2021), 144 percent growth compared to the same period in the previous marketing year.
About The U.S. Grains Council
The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 28 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org.