Flour milling executives from Nigeria traveled to the United States this week in part to tell policymakers and members of the media how U.S. market development programs have benefited their industry and bolstered U.S. wheat sales to their country.
U.S. Wheat Associates hosted the trade team, which spent two full days of a weeklong trip in Washington, meeting with officials on Capitol Hill and in the Administration as well as members of the media as part of a lunchtime media availability hosted by NAWG in its Capitol Hill offices.
The U.S. maintains 90 percent market share in Nigeria, which is largely attributed to the strong relationship U.S. Wheat has been able to establish with the country’s millers.
Since 2001, when U.S. Wheat opened a technical service office in Lagos, average annual wheat sales to Nigeria have doubled from about 1.5 million metric tons (55 million bushels) to almost three million metric tons (110 million bushels), returning billions of dollars back to the U.S. economy. Nigeria buys more U.S. hard red winter wheat every year than any other country and will likely be the largest U.S. wheat buyer in the world in the marketing year running from June 2009 to May 2010.
This growth has been supported by U.S. Wheat’s work to help millers introduce new products including pasta, instant noodles and cookies into the growing market – projects that are largely funded through the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill.
These programs are administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and provide funds to U.S. nonprofit organizations to match producer dollars that go to trade and technical service projects.
The story of success in the Nigerian flour milling industry is one example of how the public-private investment in export promotion supports local capacity-building and helps stimulate economic opportunity here in the United States.
A recent economic analysis from U.S. Wheat shows producers received $23 back in increased net revenue for every $1 invested between 2000 and 2007. The study estimated that the overall average gross revenue benefit to the entire wheat industry from the combined producer and federal investment was about $115 for each dollar spent.
Another recent study, from Global Insight, showed that since 2006, increased market promotion and development spending is estimated to have increased the value of trade from $90.5 billion to $96.1 billion.
NAWG is highly supportive of full funding, as authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, for both MAP and FMD program and works frequently with U.S. Wheat and other coalition partners to demonstrate the value of these programs.