Categories: Aquaculture, MENA, News, Poultry

By USSEC

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Categories: Aquaculture, MENA, News, Poultry

By USSEC

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In September, the Soy Excellence Center (SEC) Steering Committee members and its Middle East and North Africa Regional (MENA) Advisory Council (RAC) members were in Cairo, Egypt, with the shared goal of exploring the challenges and opportunities while celebrating two key milestone completion of the 100th Aquaculture and the 101st Poultry cohorts. This journey of skills development and workforce capacity building by SEC began four years ago when it was first set up in the region to support the soy value chain in MENA.

Mark Read, Vice Chair of the SEC Steering Committee and an Illinois Soybean Association Board member, had this to say when asked about the team’s goals with these visits, “We are excited to be here. As U.S. Soy farmers, we hope to continue educating and promoting knowledge-sharing on both sides. These visits allow us not only to learn about what we are doing well with our SEC courses but also to identify areas where we can do more. Egypt is already the third-largest importer of U.S. Soy, and these visits enable us to express our gratitude and together explore ways to enhance food and nutrition security globally.”

During their visit, members of the SEC Steering Committee, the SEC MENA RAC, and a USDA Foreign Agricultural Services representative met for an annual review. The discussions centered on the vital role of education and knowledge sharing in Egypt’s flourishing aquaculture sector, which is now a leader in Africa and ranks sixth globally. The group also discussed opportunities for growth within the poultry sector. SEC MENA, with its basic and intermediary courses in aquaculture and poultry, continues to sharpen skills and raise awareness of sustainable practices to boost productivity and efficiency across the soy value chain.

The visiting SEC Steering Committee and SEC MENA RAC members were joined by U.S. Soy farmers and staff from the Qualified State Soybean Board (QSSB). This delegation next visited the WorldFish Center in Abbassa, Egypt, where they witnessed a significant milestone – the 100th SEC cohort engaging in on-site learning about ‘Fish Trade and Export Opportunities’. This milestone event was complemented with a visit to the Alexandria K21 Marine Farm & Hatchery and Sadat City Feed Mill facilities to give the delegation a firsthand experience of the latest technologies and practices being employed in seafood production. The innovative approaches observed among Egyptian stakeholders are a testament to the country’s plans to increase fish production to 3 million metric tonnes by 2025 [ FAO report ]. It further reinforces SEC’s relentless efforts in nurturing early-to-mid career protein professionals throughout the soy value chain.

The delegation’s visit culminated at Cairo University, where they celebrated the 101st SEC Cohort of the Poultry Training Production and presented the participants with their course completion certificates, a testament to SEC’s commitment to teaching our participants skills that help them thrive through good and bad times.

Jason Penke, SEC Steering Committee member and Nebraska Soybean Board Vice Chairman, sums up this visit to Egypt best when he says, “This has been amazingly eye-opening. I never imagined this trip would be like this, to see how soybeans are used throughout this country and how the United States and Egypt have been working together to help each other. It is pretty neat going out to the different sites, seeing and meeting the people here, and seeing how friendly and nice everyone is. It’s just been a wonderful experience.”

The delegation included:

U.S. Soy Farmers and Staff from the following states:

  1. Indiana
  2. Iowa
  3. Kansas
  4. Kentucky
  5. Missouri
  6. Nebraska
  7. New York
  8. Ohio
  9. South Dakota

SEC Steering Committee

  1. Illinois
  2. Iowa
  3. Minnesota
  4. Nebraska

This blog was funded in part by the soy checkoff.

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