Capacity Building and Technical Assistance. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) conducts trade-capacity building, technical assistance, and
education and research activities to enhance African Growth and Opportunity Act
(AGOA) countries’ ability to trade with the United States and other countries.
These activities foster a more prosperous, open region.
U.S. capacity-building activities include assisting African countries with
the export of fresh agricultural products by meeting international sanitary and
phytosanitary (SPS) standards and regulations. These standards apply to plants,
animals, or any product derived from plants or animals. Countries that adopt
these rules are protecting the health of animals, plants, and people.
USDA has SPS advisors in Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa at African Global
Competitiveness Initiative hubs that are managed by the U.S. Agency for
International Development. These advisors work with their African counterparts
to implement a wide range of SPS improvement activities that are critical to
building the institutional regulatory capacity necessary to facilitate trade.
The regional advisors and U.S. agricultural attachés provide information about
requirements for exporting agricultural products to the United States and help
African countries develop the capacity to access the U.S. market.
To ensure that African systems are consistent with international standards,
training is provided in compliance with U.S. regulatory requirements for
processed food as established by USDA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
USDA provided training in Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) and
Good Agricultural Practices throughout sub-Saharan Africa to improve market
access for processed agricultural products. USDA also supports Namibia’s
continuing efforts to attain equivalence for its meat processing industry’s
access to the U.S. market.
Education and Research. Since 1984, USDA’s Cochran Fellowship Program has
provided training for more than 1,200 participants from 26 countries in
sub-Saharan Africa, including nearly 96 participants this year. The Cochran
program provides short-term training in the United States to help countries
develop market-driven food systems and increase trade links with U.S.
Several Cochran alumni have made significant contributions to their countries
since graduating. Lawrence Njuguna has doubled milk production on his 40-cow
Kenyan dairy farm and implemented marketing strategies that improved the prices
he gets for milk. Mr. Njuguna also helps hundreds of fellow farmers by
conducting on-farm training and contributing to a farm radio talk show.
Katy Coleman from South Africa now owns her own company and is leading industry
efforts to improve product quality and expand the range of soy food products
throughout the Southern Africa region.
The Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology
Fellows Program (Borlaug Program) provides 6- to 8-week collaborative research
training for leading scientists and policy-makers from developing and
middle-income countries. Since 2005, 96 individuals from 16 AGOA countries have
been trained. More than 50 percent of all Borlaug Fellows have been women. Since
2005, the African Women in Science Borlaug Fellows Program has supported 49
leading female scientists from 11 AGOA countries.
The Faculty Exchange Program brings university instructors of agricultural
economics and sciences to the United States to work with U.S. professors to
upgrade their technical knowledge and develop new and revised courses for their
home universities. In 2008, the program supported nine university instructors
from Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Senegal.
The Scientific Cooperation Research Program has helped U.S. scientists
cooperate with 16 African country partners in 43 long-term research projects.
These research projects are focused on animal and plant diseases and pests, food
safety, and new products and emerging technologies. We plan to continue
cooperating with seven sub-Saharan African partners this year.
Food Assistance. USDA provides food assistance to AGOA countries through
two programs—the Food for Progress (FFPr) and the McGovern-Dole International
Food for Education and Child Nutrition (McGovern-Dole) Programs.
The FFPr improves nutrition and supports agricultural and economic
development projects in developing countries that are emerging democracies and
are introducing or expanding free enterprise in their agricultural sectors.
The total value of FFPr programs during the last fiscal year is more the $73
million in seven AGOA countries.
The McGovern-Dole Program helps promote education, child development, and
food security in low-income, food-deficit countries that are committed to
universal education. The program provides donations of U.S. agricultural
products, as well as financial and technical assistance, for school feeding and
maternal and child nutrition projects. The total value of McGovern-Dole programs
during the last fiscal year is $135 million in 13 AGOA countries.
In December 2008, USDA signed an agreement with the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation to assess the feasibility of implementing programs for schools
to purchase food for school meals from local smallholder farmers in Ghana,
Kenya, Mali, and Rwanda. Results of the assessments will be made available to
the four countries so they can seek assistance from potential public and private
bilateral or multilateral donors to develop a program in their region.
General information about FAS programs, resources, and services is available
on the Internet at the FAS home page: