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New trade opportunities for U.S. agriculture in West Africa

Ag trade mission nets $11.5 million in projected sales

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New trade opportunities for U.S. agriculture in West Africa

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky (center) cooks a dish while on an agricultural trade mission in West Africa. The mission was held to unlock new trade opportunities in the region.

The mission included 40 participants, 35 of which were agribusinesses looking to sell an array of farm products. More than 480 business to business meetings were held.

“Right now, from preliminary surveying, those meetings have generated 12 months sales that are projected to be at least $11.5 million,” Censky said. “We expect that figure to grow as there is more follow-up. We’ve been very pleased with this trade mission overall.”

The West African nations of Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal are home to some of the largest cities in the region.

New trade opportunities for U.S. agriculture in West Africa

Delegates on the ag trade mission in West Africa go on a tour of a food processing plant.

Compared to global averages, these nations are demonstrating consistently high economic growth rates and other favorable macroeconomic trends, Censky said

As they continue this development, these countries will continue to depend on trade to help support their growing populations, he added.

“Our mission has been two fold,” Censky said. “One has been to unlock new trade opportunities for U.S. agriculture in West Africa, where they’re experiencing strong economic growth. That’s driving demand for increasing food products.

“No. 2 is to support the administration’s Prosper Africa initiative, which seeks to strengthen U.S. commercial ties in Africa, for fair and reciprocal trade for countries in Africa.”

The next trade mission will take place in Mexico Nov. 6-8.

Erica Quinlan can be reached at 800-426-9438, ext. 193, or equinlan@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Quinlan.

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