USGC Mission Helps Cultivate Feed Grain and DDGS Demand in Tunisia
Date Posted: November 16, 2012
by Cary Sifferath, U.S. Grains Council Regional Director for the Middle East and Africa
Sometimes seeing is believing -- and sometimes you have to see success in action to realize it's possible.
This was the case with a recent U.S. Grains Council mission that involved escorting a team of six high level Tunisian agricultural professionals to get a firsthand look at a top-of-the-line dairy cooperative COPAG, located in Morocco.
A shining success story, COPAG is also a longtime Council partner and a great example of technical cooperation to build productivity and create long-term feed demand.
While in Morocco, the Tunisian team saw modern methods of dairy fattening and rearing techniques, improved organization and management leading to improved quality of milk and meat production, and promotion and development of the feed grains and related livestock sector.
The trip also promoted a better understanding of the relationships among the farmer members of the cooperative, the state, and private agricultural professional organizations which are assuming some of the role that used to be played by the government.
Participants met directly with Moroccan dairy farmers and cooperative directors, feed grains importers, agricultural professional organizations, and livestock engineers to gain first-hand information about making a complex partnership successful.
These discussions covered various implementation steps adopted by each company belonging to the COPAG cooperative, the returns made through selling milk, the relationship between the various private agricultural organizations and the pertinent agricultural offices and agencies in the government, and how best to take advantage of government incentives for the livestock production.
Since the tour, the Council has learned that one of the Tunisian companies participating in the trip has invested and begun construction of a small 200 head cattle feed lot and a new dairy heifer raising center.
This new venture is based on the observations gained in Morocco.
This will increase demand for feed grains and DDGS in Tunisia, which will open a new opportunity for U.S. exporters.
We expect other team members to follow suit.
It is important that the Tunisian's Ministry of Agriculture's Livestock Office encourage these types of expansion efforts in Tunisia's dairy and beef sectors, and the Council will continue to seek out opportunities to support these ventures in the future.
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