The U.S. Department of Agriculture will lead a trade mission to promote U.S. agricultural trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa, Sept. 16-20.
The trade mission launches USDA's Sub-Saharan Africa Trade Initiative, which aims to expand U.S. agricultural commercial ties in the region.
During the week, the USDA delegation will travel to South Africa and Mozambique to learn about the region's market conditions. The mission includes 18 U.S. companies and 16 U.S. agricultural commodity trade associations that represent a variety of agricultural products including snack foods, beverages, fruit and nuts, agricultural machinery and more.
"Many U.S. agribusinesses – especially small and medium-sized enterprises – are beginning to appreciate the opportunities for trade and investment in Africa," said USDA Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden in a statement. "This initiative will establish relationships between U.S. and African businesses and support agricultural growth throughout the region."
Over the past decade, U.S. agricultural exports to sub-Saharan Africa increased by more than 200 percent. Last year, bilateral agricultural trade between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa totaled more than $4.75 billion, according to USDA.
The USDA trade initiative supports the "U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa" plan outlined by President Obama in June 2012.