Increasing U.S. exports is not just a matter of capturing existing market share. Finding new markets creates additional demand, and helping build those markets secures a preference for U.S. feed grains and value-added products. In West Africa, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is engaging with training programs poultry producers, establishing a brand-new market for U.S. corn.
Poultry producers from Côte d’Ivoire at training with Moroccan Poultry Association (FISA).
“USGC sees the poultry sector as the driving force for this future pocket of demand for feed grains,” said USGC Manager of Global Development Programs Anne Zaczek. “West African countries, including Senegal and Nigeria, have already started to import small amounts of U.S. corn in 2016. This is the start for future demand.”
To accomplish that goal, USGC and the Moroccan Poultry Association (FISA) recently sponsored a training program for Western African poultry producers in Morocco, the second in a series of new USGC engagements in the region. This session specifically focused on the needs of nine poultry producers designated by the Côte d’Ivoire Poultry Association (IPRAVI).
The train-the-trainers program involved a combination of short courses and hands-on application at Avipole farm, a poultry training center run by FISA. Trainees also visited commercial broiler farms, feed mills and processing facilities.
USGC’s vision for this work is to link these training programs to larger capacity building efforts for the region’s poultry industry. In turn, these efforts support longer-term market development for U.S. grain exports into West Africa.
“Poultry is the cheapest and most commonly-consumed meat source in West Africa,” Zaczek said. “As the poultry sectors in these countries continue to grow and expand, the need for imports of feed ingredients will rise, similar to USGC work throughout the past 20 years with our extremely valuable partners in the Moroccan poultry industry.”
USGC organized the first in this series of training programs in March 2017 with a team of poultry producers from Senegal. Zaczek said a direct result of that program was the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between FISA and the Senegal poultry association (IPAS) to undertake institution-building activities. USGC expects IPRAVI to engage in a similar effort in the near future.
USGC will continue partnering with FISA to organize more training programs in 2017, supported by additional funding by the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council. The next program is scheduled for July 2017 for a team of poultry producers and technicians from Guinea, designated by the Guinea Poultry Association (UNAG).
More about the Council's work in Africa is here.