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Foreign Agricultural Service

Linking U.S. Agriculture to the World

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is based in Washington, D.C. and serves as the lead U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agency overseas, at the behest of the Secretary of Agriculture. Our mission is to link U.S. agriculture to the world to enhance export opportunities and global food security.

FAS Dakar officially covers Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and The Gambia. It may also be asked to cover Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, and Mauritania if needed.

Our programs focus on technical capacity building, food assistance and supporting economic growth and trade.

USDA International Development Cooperation and Trade Capacity Building

Our capacity building programs and activities are designed to facilitate trade and create an environment conducive to market-driven agricultural growth in order to build reliable trading partners. 

We work to strengthen local and regional institutions, build trade capacity and transfer technology. We consider food security strategies, such as Feed the Future, and country investment plans as well as regional West African objectives when managing and implementing technical building activities.

Activities include U.S. experts providing instruction in other countries, as well as foreign government officials, scientists, or university professors coming to the United States for training.  Training and capacity building programs include:

  • Cochran Fellowship Program (CFP): To learn more about CFP
  • Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program: To learn more about the Borlaug Fellowship program
  • Avian influenza training and workshops – with APHIS
  • Biotechnology seminars and scientific exchanges
  • Embassy Science Fellows program
  • Faculty Exchange program
  • Food safety and CODEX alimentarius programs
  • Regional veterinary laboratory network – in partnership with OCBD and APHIS
  • West Africa Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Program – In partnership with USAID
  • U.S. industry technical cooperation

Upcoming projects in Senegal include the Biotechnology seminar taking place this summer and the BEP Scholarship Project between the Government of Mali and Interstate School of Veterinary Science and Medicine (EISMV) in Dakar.

USDA Food Aid Programs

FAS Dakar works with other USDA departments, NGOS, and international organizations to implement a number of food aid agreements to improve food security and advance agricultural development.

  • Under the Food for Progress (FFP) Act of 1985, U.S. agriculture commodities are provided to developing countries and emerging democracies committed to introducing and expanding free enterprise in the agricultural sector.  USDA donates commodities to foreign governments, private voluntary organizations, non-profit organizations, cooperatives, or intergovernmental organizations to fund agricultural development programs.  Activities include farmer training to increase yields, resource conservation, financing wells and pumps, and microfinance training.  Total value for FFP programs from FY 2005-2010 is $99.4 million and covers Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and the Gambia.* To learn more about FFP
  • USDA’s McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program (FFE) provides NGOs with donations of U.S. agricultural commodities. These NGOs then have the option of using the commodities for direct distribution or selling them to provide financial assistance for projects that promote education, child development, food security, health and nutrition.  Total value for FFE programs from FY 2005-2010 is $108.3 million and covers Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, and Senegal.* To learn more about FFE
  • The Local and Regional Procurement Pilot Project (LRP) was authorized as a pilot program under the 2008 Farm Bill. LRP uses local and regional food procurement or vouchers as a tool to address urgent food needs during and after food crises and disasters around the world. The pilot project’s agreement value from FY 2009-2011 is $15.4 million for Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, and Niger. To learn more about LRP

* As of 11/30/2009, includes Title I funded programs

FAS as a Trade Oriented Agency

FAS also works to improve foreign market access for U.S. products, build new markets and improve the competitive position of U.S. agriculture in the global marketplace.  

Market Access

We monitor regional trade policy developments that affect U.S. agricultural trade. We work closely with our host countries to improve market access conditions for U.S. agricultural exports. We also work with local and regional West African institutions to ensure that they adopt agricultural and trade policies based on international standards and sound science.

Market Promotion

We aim to expand exports and/or demand of U.S. agricultural and food products in the West Africa region in collaboration with U.S. agricultural trade associations, including the U.S. Wheat Associates, U.S. Grains Council, American Soybean Association, the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health, the U.S. Dry Bean Council, the American Peanut Council, the U.S. Rice Federation and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Export Council.

Market Intelligence

FAS provides exporters, policymakers, and domestic stakeholders with first-hand agricultural analysis by reporting on the agricultural situation, by commodity, specific country, and region, including policy and market developments that affect food security and agricultural trade. They can be accessed from the USDA’s Global Agriculture Information Network (GAIN).

Buying U.S. Products

FAS offers a range of services to assist international buyers in locating American suppliers and sourcing products. To access links to the information below, visit FAS-USDA website  and click on ‘Buying U.S. Products.’

  • U.S. Suppliers List
    This online database includes a list of suppliers of U.S. agricultural products.  This is the first stop to find the right match to meet your needs!
  • Export Directory of U.S. Food Distribution Companies
    The Export Directory of U.S. Food Distribution Companies provides a list of U.S. suppliers of mixed containers of grocery products and food service products to potential foreign buyers. 
  • FAS Foreign Buyers List
    Join the FAS "Foreign Buyers List"! By registering as an importer, you can receive many of our services and be included in special promotion events. 
  • Trade Shows and Events
    Looking for a trade event in the region that features U.S. products? The calendar contains a variety of international promotional activities, from major trade shows to smaller events such as store, hotel and catalog promotions organized by FAS offices overseas. If you're attending a trade show in the United States, annual calendars are available which list food, farm, seafood and forest product trade shows in the U.S.

FAS Overseas Office Directory

FAS staffs about 100 offices across the world and covers nearly 160 countries. It has a total of 1,400 employees with roughly a third overseas.