ISA’s Steinkamp Sees Growing West African Feed and Food Markets

Indiana Soybean Alliance Director and American Soybean Association Vice President Joe Steinkamp has returned from the country of Ghana with insight into the opportunities for U.S. soy in West African livestock feed as well as food markets.

“Ghana is already a market for limited amounts of U.S. soybean meal,” Steinkamp says. “I saw tremendous potential for increased U.S. exports if Ghana’s poultry and egg industry can grow and develop. This is a great target for long term market development.”

Steinkamp farms with his family in Evansville. Earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack appointed Steinkamp to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee to ensure U.S. agricultural trade policy reflects U.S. commercial and economic interests.

While in Ghana in early September, Steinkamp participated in the ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) conference titled “Trade, Food Technology and Nutrition: USA and Africa Dialogue”. More than 100 people from eight countries attended the USDA-funded conference organized by WISHH.

Steinkamp also met with USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) officials from three Sub-Saharan offices and a number of WISHH’s supply chain partners who import U.S. soy protein. He discussed U.S. isolated soy protein exports to Africa with a representative from DuPont Nutrition and Health, who sees good sales growth potential in West Africa.

ISA Director Levi Huffman of Lafayette represents Indiana on the WISHH Program Committee, providing strategic guidance to its work as a trailblazer for trade for U.S. soy in fast growing developing countries throughout the world.

In addition to working with companies that put U.S. soy into diverse food products, WISHH is developing soy-based feed markets for livestock and aquaculture. In August, USDA announced it chose WISHH and key partners to implement a major poultry development project in Ghana. U.S. soybean growers as well as Ghana’s poultry and feed industry, and its protein-seeking consumers, will all benefit.

JoeSSteveCDarkocorn_2Steinkamp visited the only vertically integrated poultry operation in Ghana, which will be part of the WISHH project. Darko Farms, established in the late 1960s, runs a parent stock hatchery, day-old chick, broiler grow out, feed compounding and slaughter facility. The challenges they face include biosecurity, consistent feed ingredient quality and supply, and low local demand for breast meat. They prefer solvent extracted soybean meal for their feeds and are developing a business model involving contracted poultry producers who will place a minimum of 2000 chicks. Darko will provide feeds and extension services for these growers to have maximum efficient broiler production.

WISHH’s multi-faceted project will promote the use of improved poultry feeds, and procure feed ingredients, including 10,000 metric tons of U.S. soybean meal. It will train Ghanaian poultry producers, improve feed milling practices and products, enhance storage and handling of feedstuffs, and much more.

The USA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) and its members believe that U.S. support of the Ghanaian poultry industry and other agricultural development programs are part of an important relationship between Ghana and the USA, which in turn will allow for a healthy trade environment between the two nations.

The United States is among Ghana’s principal trading partners, with two-way trade between the two countries reaching $1.45 billion in 2014, according to the U.S. State Department. Ghana is home to 26.4 million people, and a West African hub for business growth.


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