U.S. businesses and government representatives are in South Africa and Mozambique this week to meet with buyers and promote U.S. agricultural trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa, along with U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden.
The USDA’s Sub-Saharan Africa Trade Initiative aims to expand U.S. agricultural commercial ties in the region and to learn first hand about the region’s rapidly evolving market conditions and business environment – information that will enable agribusinesses to develop export strategies for sub-Saharan Africa, according to a report in NewsTimeAfrica.
The mission includes 18 U.S. companies and 16 U.S. agricultural commodity trade associations that represent a variety of agriculture-related products including snack foods, beverages, fruit and nuts, agricultural machinery and more.
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,” Harden said. “This initiative will establish relationships between U.S. and African businesses and support agricultural growth throughout the region.”
Sub-Saharan Africa’s strong economic outlook, growing middle class and surging demand for consumer-oriented foods create a promising market for U.S. food and agricultural products, the report said. Over the past decade, U.S. agricultural exports to sub-Saharan Africa increased by more than 200 percent.
In 2012, bilateral agricultural trade between the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa totaled more than $4.75 billion.
Harden will also open Africa’s International Food & Drink Trade Show in Johannesburg on Sept. 18. Eleven U.S. companies will exhibit at the show’s U.S.A. pavilion. In addition to the trade mission, USDA and South African officials will meet to discuss bilateral trade issues and visit food aid projects funded by USDA’s Food for Progress Program in Mozambique. The USDA trade initiative supports the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa plan outlined by President Obama in June 2012.
U.S. companies and USDA co-operators participating in the Sub-Saharan Africa Trade Initiative include: Allied International Corp.; American Food Service; American Peanut Council; Bell Carter Olive Company; Bridgeforth International Corporation; Case New Holland; Cranberry Marketing Committee; Cuba Beverage Company; FAIM Afric, Ltd.; GSI Group; JM Grain, Inc.; Land O’ Lakes/Purina Animal Nutrition LLC; PS International; Strickland Ranch & Exports, Inc.; Suma Trading LLC; Tri-States Grain Conditioning, Inc.; Zafi Beverages & Agricultural Technologies, Inc.; American Soybean Association; National Renderers Association; North American Millers’ Association; North American Export Grain Association; Organic Trade Association; Southern Forest Products Association; Southern U.S. Trade Association; USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council; U.S. Grains Council; U.S. Meat Export Federation; USA Poultry & Egg Export Council; USA Rice Federation; U.S. Wheat Association; Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association.