The South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa (SASSA) region of USSEC organized a full-day, Nigeria: Now conference on September 28, 2022, in collaboration with the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) and with support from the soy checkoff. About 170 Nigerian soy value chain stakeholders attended, including industry leaders from the poultry, aquaculture, feed and banking sectors, as well as representatives from the government and food and trade associations in the Nigeria soybean value chain.
The central theme of the conference was enhancing collaboration to enable the country’s industry to meet the country’s vision for nutrition and food security.
USSEC CEO Jim Sutter gave opening remarks that stressed the commitment of USSEC to a long-term collaboration with Nigerian stakeholders in addressing food and nutrition security. “We want to build on our growing partnerships for the long-term to help Nigerian leaders meet their food and nutrition vision for the citizens of their country,” Sutter said.
In his keynote speech, the governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade, committed to championing an enabling regulatory environment that will encourage trade in soybeans to address the problem of malnutrition in Nigeria.
The primary objectives of the conference included:
- Building strategic long-term collaboration with key customers in the Nigeria soybean value chain.
- Illustrating the scientific and economic advantages of sourcing and using U.S. Soy as the preferred feed input versus alternate protein sources and soy of other origins.
- Educating Nigerians on the basics of international commodity trade.
The event met those objectives in several ways.
Prior to the conference, Nigerians only considered the crude protein level of soybeans and products in their purchasing decisions. In fact, most Nigerian feed millers only can test for crude protein levels. Dr. Sila Susil used the Nutrient Value Calculator (NVC) to present the superior quality of U.S. soybeans. The presentation demonstrated the need to consider the full amino acid profile of soybeans in purchase decisions.
Other presentations that addressed needs of the Nigerian audience included the basics of commodity trading execution by Guy Allen from Kansas State University. He focused on the complex world of bulk and container shipping. He also covered the current situation regarding the logistics makeup and supply chain capability of the U.S. to supply soy across the world. Other presentations discussed soy use in aquaculture and applications in human diets, as well as the global outlook for edible oils.
Along with attending the conference, USSEC Vice Chairman Stan Born and other grower leaders visited links in the Nigerian soy supply chain. They toured West African Soy Industries Limited, the largest soybean crushing facility in Nigeria. The visit provided an in-person meeting with key contacts and potential importers of U.S. Soy.
The event laid a solid foundation for long-term collaboration between U.S. Soy industry and stakeholders in the Nigerian soybean supply chain, and supported USSEC’s strategic objectives of elevating collaboration, differentiating and creating a preference for U.S. Soy within the Nigerian soybean supply chain.
This story was partially funded by U.S. Soy farmers, their checkoff and the soy value chain.