Easing the burden
ARLINGTON, VA -- USDA's Food Assistance Division has approved the sale of 25,000 MT of long grain rice to the Ivory Coast as part of their Food For Progress Program (FFPr). FFPr allows for U.S. commodities in key food assistance markets to be sold by humanitarian groups who then invest the proceeds in the development of a critical agricultural value chain. It is commonly referred to as "monetization." In the case of Ivory Coast, the sale of long grain rice will be invested in the development of the poultry value chain.
This program is an important component of the U.S. government's desire to invest in helping critical markets achieve agricultural sustainability and eventually transition to commercial markets.
The Ivory Coast, traditionally a commercial market for USA Rice has descended into food insecurity after years of civil unrest and economic instability. USA Rice worked closely with industry, monetization agents on the ground in the Ivory Coast, and the USDA to determine the appropriateness of this sale to a former commercial market. After concluding the sale would not create any market distortion and that it made sense to conduct food assistance activities in a formerly commercial market, USA Rice encouraged and supported the sale of rice for food assistance purposes.
USA Rice has been working closely with both USAID and USDA to emphasize both the availability and advantageous prices of U.S. origin rice. As rice is the most consumed commodity in the world, it is easily accepted by the target population of food assistance programs, making it a highly effective tool to combat hunger.
"This is the first of what we believe will be multiple new sales of U.S. rice to the U.S. government for use in food assistance programs in the coming year," said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward. "We are continuing our close collaboration with government agencies to increase rice use to help vulnerable communities around the world."