USDA's Global Agricultural Trade System shows investments by U.S. sorghum farmers in international marketing pay dividends. Morocco has increased sorghum imports from zero in 2009 to 2.6 million bushels so far this marketing year through March. According to Florentino Lopez, Marketing Director for the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, the checkoff and U.S. Grains Council began working immediately after a market assessment in Morocco last fall showed a huge market for U.S. sorghum.
A Moroccan team of poultry producers came to the U.S. as a follow-up to a trip other Moroccan producers made in the fall. The team toured facilities and farms in Texas in order to gain more understanding of U.S. sorghum production. The team will go to Mexico next to experience sorghum use in poultry rations firsthand. Lopez says Mexico and Morocco are very similar in their economic situations, climatic conditions and currency devaluation risks. He believes the team will be able to understand the feasibility of taking advantage of U.S. sorghum in their own operations.
Through projects like the buyer missions the Sorghum Checkoff and Grains Council are working to increase the international market for sorghum. Lopez says the U.S. sorghum industry sees Morocco as a great long-term buyer of U.S. sorghum. Bill Kubecka , a Texas sorghum producer and host to the team, says producers have the potential to provide Moroccans with a quality product and develop relationships that could result in future business.
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