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AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK TO ATTEND AGOA FORUM IN KENYA NEXT WEEK - Vilsack will join Secretary of State Clinton at 8th African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum in Nairobi, Kenya from August

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2009 – As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to enhance global food security, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will attend the 8th U.S.-Sub-Saharan African Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum in Nairobi, Kenya from Aug. 4-6, 2009. At the forum, Vilsack will highlight the USDA’s ongoing food security efforts in Africa and other places throughout the world which is focused on building the agricultural industry in developing countries.

"Through the Obama Administration’s new food security efforts, we’re striving to improve the security situation in developing regions around the world, which will also help reduce world hunger," said Vilsack. "I look forward to working with my counterparts at the forum to realize the benefits of this strategy to develop sustainable agriculture systems worldwide."

While in Kenya, Vilsack is expected to meet with Ministers of Agriculture or Trade from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa and with the Secretary General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. He will also speak on food security and climate change at a luncheon hosted by sub-Saharan African Ministers. He will visit several villages and towns to meet with small-scale farmers, processors, distributors, and agro-dealers to see how the value chain works for various industries, including broilers and dairy. Finally, he plans to visit the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute and meet with women scientists receiving African Women in Agricultural Research and Development fellowships.

USDA already works with AGOA countries in several different ways. For instance, USDA conducts trade-capacity building, technical assistance, and education and research activities to enhance AGOA countries’ ability to trade with the United States and other countries. USDA also provides educational and research opportunities to policymakers, private sector representatives, scientists and researchers, university professors, and other agricultural specialists. Finally, USDA offers food assistance through the Food for Progress (FFPr) and the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition (McGovern-Dole) Programs. For more information about all of these programs, visit www.usda.gov.

The AGOA Forum is an annual event mandated by the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which was signed into law by President Clinton in May 2000 to expand U.S. trade and investment with Sub-Saharan Africa. The forum allows officials from AGOA-eligible countries and officials from the United States to review implementation of AGOA, as well as chart new ways forward in building closer ties between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to the government-to-government Ministerial meetings, the forum includes meetings of the U.S. and African private sectors and civil society.

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Release No. 0347.09
FAS PR 0145-09

Contact:
USDA Office of Communications (202) 720-4623
Linda Habenstreit (202) 720-9442

 

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