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Moroccan Meat Growth Means $60.5 Million for US

22 May 2009

MOROCCO - The Moroccan government has announced an incentive programme to establish 20-30 large beef feedlots and ten modern meat processing facilities in an effort to increase domestic beef production.

In support of the government's objectives, the U.S. Grains Council sponsored two U.S. meat processing plant design consultants to travel to Morocco for consultations last week. USGC Consultants Chuck Pharr, of Vaughn, Coltrane, Pharr and Associates, and Dr. Rod Bowling, of Agrifood Solutions International, met with beef and poultry producers to discuss modern processing facility designs. As the government guides the industry toward more efficient production, the goal is to increase production by 80 per cent by 2020 and increase annual per capita consumption from the current 11 pounds per person by increasing the availability of a more affordable red meat supply.

The Council has been instrumental in introducing new methodologies to the Moroccan livestock industry over the years, jump-starting beef production five years ago by introducing COPAG, a major livestock cooperative, to U.S. feedlot systems. Just two years later the Council introduced U.S. distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and corn gluten feed to the Moroccan marketplace. From these efforts, COPAG established a 10,000 head feedlot and the country has seen four additional feedlots and three large dairies built, or in the process of being built, using the U.S. feedlot model. With the recent addition of facilities totaling 28,000 head capacity, demand for corn and its co-products has spiked. COPAG's corn utilization increased from 15,000 metric tonnes (591,000 bushels) to 60,000 tonnes (2.4 million bushels) in 2008.

According to Kurt Shultz, USGC director in the Mediterranean and Africa, the Moroccan Feed Millers Association adopted the Council's plan to develop the ruminant feed market, which increased corn consumption by 165,000 tonnes (6.5 million bushels) from 2003 to 2007. Shultz says projections are calling for 465,000 tonnes of corn, sorghum and co-product sales by 2011. "The increase in corn sales is about $21.4 million and $20 million for DDGS. That's about $41.4 million back to U.S. corn growers. This is in addition to the Council's program that brings in $10.7 million through U.S. live cattle sales. With additional commodity purchases, returns are expected to increase to $60.5 million by 2011," said Shultz.

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