CASABLANCA, MOROCCO - This week, USRPA Staff and membership traveled to Morocco for a regional summit with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service to bolster trade in the region. This summit comes at an excellent time given that USRPA trade missions in recent months have gained valuable ground and relationships in the territory.
The USDA and Foreign Ag Service have directed focus towards Africa and the Middle East as the population growth and improving logistics make market expansion opportunities abound for U.S. agricultural products. It was noted by FAS staff in the North Africa region that there is strong market demand for U.S. rice, and importers are eager for fresh supplies after the short crop over the past two years. Government representatives from West Africa reminisced of the days when U.S. rice was a normal sight on the shelves, and are eager to work collaboratively to see that happen again.
The Administration also communicated its key focus point on climate change. Political Appointee, Jeremy Adamson, offered several reasons how climate change is impacting policy, trade, supply lines, and the environment. Adamson also introduced new tools that help farmers measure carbon capture and climate smart practices, and these tools will be rolled out the general public in the coming weeks.
This summit showed that there is not only significant opportunity in the Middle East and Africa, but also strong enthusiasm for U.S. products. Meeting in person created the opportunity to build valuable relationships with FAS Staff, USDA staff from Washington DC, and industry partners to position USRPA and its farmer members for success in this turbid and changing market environment.