Kansas Department of Agriculture News Releases

Kansans Participate in USDA Trade Mission to East Africa

Kansans representing the Kansas Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Soybean Export Council participated in a U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service trade mission to Kenya and Tanzania on October 30–November 4, 2022.

Deputy Secretary Kelsey Olson and International Trade Director Suzanne Ryan-Numrich, Manhattan, represented KDA on the mission while Lance Rezac, Onaga, represented USSEC. The mission focus was to explore new opportunities in East and Central Africa, where local country visions of food and nutrition security and strong economic growth is driving demand for imported food and farm products.

“Kenya is the economic, financial, and logistical hub for East and Central Africa. Consumer consumption is centered around commodities which are produced in Kansas,” said Olson. “I see potential for Kansans to provide livestock genetics to enhance existing livestock production as well as provide technical expertise in many areas as their markets grow.”

“The recent lifting of the ban on genetically engineered crops opens up tremendous opportunities for trade in this region,” stated Rezac. “The region is currently suffering from extreme drought, and they are looking for alternative sources of grain including U.S. soybeans. We live in a global village. The U.S. is the world’s second largest soy producer and exporter and so we see a responsibility to supply the region to meet local food and nutrition security needs and help combat drought and insect issues with local production.”

Increasing trade and investment between the U.S. and Africa is a key priority for the Biden-Harris administration. “Through this trade mission, USDA–FAS is proud to support the U.S.–Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership as well as the U.S. government’s Prosper Africa initiative, which aims to increase bilateral commerce and investment between the United States and Africa,” said FAS Administrator Daniel Whitley.

The mission was possible through KDA’s membership in U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc. with funding from the USDA Market Access Program. It is the mission of KDA to support all facets of agriculture, including lending support to those who wish to market and sell internationally. For more information, including upcoming trade mission opportunities, contact Ryan-Numrich at Suzanne.Numrich@ks.gov or 785-564-6704.