The USDA trade mission to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates wrapped up this week. During a conference call with farm broadcasters, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said he was very happy that the trade mission participants could be face-to-face with potential customers.
“First and foremost, really happy about the fact that we were able to begin once again to have face to face trade missions instead of virtual missions. We had 25 U.S. companies, six cooperator groups, eight state departments of agriculture, two regional trade groups, 41 participates in all focused on supporting and advocating for more trade here in Dubai, in the Middle East and the Gulf countries as well as in Africa. 71 regional buyers attended during the course of the trade mission, over 300 business meetings took place, so obviously, people left here, I think, satisfied that they had a good trade mission.”
Climate-smart agriculture was another important topic of conversation during the trade mission. “The AIM for Climate Initiative, this was an initiative that the United States and the UAE launched at COP 26. When we launched it, there were roughly 80 partners who were interested. We have eight Sprint initiatives. These are research initiatives looking at ways in which technologies and advancements in climate-smart agriculture can be instituted into the market quickly. We now have another 55 partners for a total of 140 partners.”
During the meetings on climate-smart agriculture, the U.S. and its partner countries focused the discussions on four main areas to work on in 2022. “Assisting small holder farmers in middle-income and low-income countries, looking at methane reduction strategies, the embracing of emerging technologies like nanotechnology, biotechnology, robotics and AI, as well as advancing Ecological Research, which is research in the area of regenerative agriculture, soil health, areas that were pretty significant in terms of our ability to embrace climate-smart agriculture and to reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of agriculture globally.”
Again, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke during a press conference wrapping up a successful USDA trade mission to Dubai.