As one of the global leaders in agricultural products like corn, hogs, poultry, and soybeans, Iowans keep a constant eye on international markets to sell those goods. So when South Africa lifted trade sanctions on U.S. poultry and swine in early 2016 many eyes were watching. South Africa could be a key importer of Iowa crops and livestock.
Twenty-five Iowans departed on a Market Study trip organized by the Iowa Farm Bureau to learn more about this new opportunity. The group has a range of backgrounds including crop and livestock farming, agribusiness, and education.
South Africa has a rich history that has been shaped by and sometimes marred by colorful tribal traditions, Dutch colonialism, and more recently apartheid and a shift in government. South Africa crops have been suffering from recent extreme drought. This severe weather means they haven’t been able to produce the necessary quantities of white corn needed – a staple of the South African diet. We will explore these and many other topics over the next 12 days.