East Africa: Building The Markets Of Tomorrow

Because East Africa holds significant long-term growth potential for U.S. feed grains, earlier this month, a team of Council staff and members traveled to the region as part of an engagement mission to discuss upcoming programming, current partnerships and opportunities for U.S. feed grains.

Leveraging a variety of funding sources, including Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) funding, the Council has been active in East Africa for more than a decade, working to promote the development of a commercial poultry and feed industry in the region to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that by 2032, Africa and the Middle East will account for 43 percent of the additional growth in world coarse grain imports.

“In the sale way the Council worked 60 years ago in the developing feed industries in Asia and South America, which are now established and mature feed markets, our members are looking to the future and supporting the Council’s efforts to lay the foundation for future growth in the livestock and feed industries in East Africa,” said Kurt Shultz, USGC senior director of global strategies.

The team kicked off the mission by attending the 10th African Grain Trade Summit, hosted by the East African Grains Council, in Uganda. The international grain industry conference brought together business leaders, policymakers and other stakeholders from across Africa to discuss key issues and emerging trends in the grain sector. While at the event, the Council’s delegation learned about regional grain trade constraints as well as opportunities through meetings with regional buyers and warehouse operators.

Kenya was the next stop on the mission, with the team spending time in both Nairobi and Mombasa where they met with the Kenyan Feed Industry Association (AKEFEMA) to review ongoing programs that support the industry’s development. In addition, the team toured the port in Mombasa so USGC members could get a better understanding of the logistical constraints affecting East African markets and the movement of feed grains from the port to the interior.

“The Council partners with local industry to foster their development, and it was particularly rewarding to participate in the two-way discussion between the Council and the Kenyan industry as we worked through the issues inhibiting their growth,” said Sadie Marks, USGC manager of global strategies and trade. “The Kenyan participants are passionate about the future of their industry and excited about the future.”

The team rounded out their time in Africa by attending the Tanzania Poultry Show in Dar es Salaam, an event the Council had a role in creating seven years ago. The show is an important event for the Tanzanian poultry industry to rally around and highlight the rapid evolution taking place. It also is a networking and educational program that helps poultry producers get assistance addressing production challenges they may be facing.

“The Council’s work in East Africa is setting the stage for this region to grow rapidly. We have developed partnerships with poultry and feed industry representatives that are helping to modernize and facilitate regional growth,” said Mohamed Salah Bouthour, USGC assistant director for Africa. “It’s hard work, in some cases we are working from farm to farm, but it also truly embodies the Council’s mission of developing markets, enabling trade and improving lives.”

The Council’s work in East Africa will take time, but it’s setting the stage for long-term growth in this dynamic region of the world.

Learn more about the Council’s work in Africa here.