South Dakota will host delegates from Egypt this week
By Diego Flammini
U.S. politicians are welcoming international visitors this week to discuss increased ag trade.
South Dakota State Representative Michael Saba will meet with Egyptian delegates while they visit Brookings, Volga, Watertown and Aberdeen counties.
Egypt purchased US$1.9-billion worth of American ag products in 2018. Egypt’s top imports were soybeans (US$1.2 billion) and corn (US$320 million), the U.S. Trade Representative says.
The Egyptians are “interested in buying soybeans, corn, wheat and agri-technology from South Dakota,” Saba said, KSFY reported. “Egypt is already one of the top 10 purchasers of U.S. soybeans and U.S. corn, but we’ve never had them here directly.”
Since the U.S. and China have been tangled in a trade war, it’s incumbent on states to support farmers through market diversification, he said.
“We as representatives of the public need to take care of our state and do the right things for our state,” Saba said. “Our farmers don’t want to be dependent on subsidies.”
The international visitors will spend three days in South Dakota before visiting Iowa for two days.
Federal officials are also exploring new markets for U.S. ag commodities.
Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky is leading a trade mission in West Africa from Oct. 28 to 31. The U.S. delegation includes 42 agribusinesses and farm organizations.
The mission is based in Ghana and will include buyers from the Ivory Coast, Gambia, Nigeria and Senegal.
“At USDA we are working to sell the bounty of American agriculture,” Censky said in a statement. “West Africa is a bright spot with a growing middle class that are hungry for our delicious and wholesome agriculture products.”
Farms.com has reached out to farm groups in South Dakota and to Rep. Saba for comment.