Grain groups to take part in sub-Saharan Africa trade mission

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The North American Millers’ Association, the U.S. Wheat Associates and the U.S. Grains Council are among the groups scheduled to take part in a trade mission to promote U.S. agricultural trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa. The trade mission, scheduled for Sept. 16-20, launches the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sub-Saharan Africa Trade Initiative, which aims to expand U.S. agricultural commercial ties in the region.

During the week, the U.S.D.A. delegation will travel to South Africa and Mozambique to learn about the region’s evolving market conditions and business environment. Information gathered during the visit will be used by agribusinesses to develop export strategies for sub-Saharan Africa.

The mission includes 18 U.S. companies and 16 U.S. agricultural commodity trade associations that represent a variety of agricultural products, including snack foods, beverages, fruit and nuts, and agricultural machinery. The companies and trade associations will meet with African buyers during the week.

“Many U.S. agribusinesses — especially small and medium-sized enterprises — are beginning to appreciate the opportunities for trade and investment in Africa,” said Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden. “This initiative will establish relationships between U.S. and African businesses and support agricultural growth throughout the region.”

Over the past decade, U.S. agricultural exports to sub-Saharan Africa increased by more than 200%, and last year, bilateral agricultural trade between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa totaled more than $4.75 billion.

The U.S.D.A. trade initiative supports the “U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa” plan outlined by President Barack Obama in June 2012.

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