The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is working with the Nigerian government to help the country ensure its exported and imported food stays safe from farm to fork.
The training is part of FAS capacity-building efforts that support the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) of 2000, which aims to boost sub-Saharan Africa’s economic growth, spur development and reduce poverty.
At the invitation of the Nigerian government, FAS sent a team of experts to conduct an assessment of Nigeria’s food safety system. They discovered Nigeria needed help developing a program to enforce food safety standards. Read more »
Following his two weeks of Cochran Program training in North Carolina with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS), Chiluba Mwape was able to develop a pest list for Zambia. This has enabled the nation to conduct pest risk assessments for several Zambian fruits and vegetables—the only country in southern Africa to be able to do so. Dr. Precious Hamukwale, a professor at the University of Zambia, says her agribusiness training under the Borlaug Program has helped her to assist Zambian businesswomen to better explore their potential. Mwape and Hamukwale are among 20 Zambian alumni of the USDA’s Cochran and Borlaug Fellowship Programs who spoke about how their training in the United States inspired them to make a difference in fellow citizens’ lives. Read more »
It was quite an active week as I represented the USDA at the 10th annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. While in Zambia, I had the opportunity to see firsthand a USDA-funded food assistance program in action. This included a Local and Regional Procurement (LRP) Pilot Project that is providing monthly food baskets to households impacted by HIV/AIDS. LRP is designed to use local and regional purchasing to help meet urgent food needs in developing countries and in areas faced with food crises and disasters.
The Zambia Local and Regional Procurement Program (ZLRP) is a yearlong project providing nutritional food to nearly 10,000 rural households that care for orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia’s Chongwe, Chibombo and Mumbwa districts. Land O’Lakes is working with World Vision to implement the project with USDA funding. The food these households receive allows them to leave their crops in the ground until they are fully ready to harvest, and thus are more nutritious. This in turn enables the families more time and energy to pursue other activities to improve their livelihoods and quality of life. Read more »
The Waters family farm in Orrick, Mo. had a few unusual guests last week when dozens of African ministers came to learn about their corn, soybean and wheat farm. To embrace the 9th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum’s theme, “New Strategies for a Changing World,” the organizers made some innovative changes, splitting the forum between Washington DC and Kansas City, Mo. Why Kansas City? Read more »
By Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan
On Friday afternoon, I had the opportunity to meet with some inspiring African businesswomen who are visiting the United States for the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. This unique group of 36 successful women is here to participate in a two week fellowship training program that will introduce them to American trading partners and investors, expose them to American advocacy, and business models and will offer extended support to them when they return to their countries. Read more »
Secretary Vilsack speaks for the children and staff of Stara Rescue Center School outside Kibera.
Chris Mather, USDA Director of Communications, traveled with Secretary Vilsack to Kenya for the AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) Summit. Today she shares her thoughts on segments of the trip when they traveled beyond the city limits of Nairobi for educational events.
Last week, Secretary Vilsack traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, as a participant in the 2009 African Growth and Opportunity Act Summit. Amid bilateral talks and attending the opening meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and United States Trade Ambassador Ron Kirk, the Secretary had an opportunity to travel to the countryside to learn more about the agriculture industry in Kenya and see firsthand some of the efforts USDA has been supporting. Read more »