Departments and Offices
USDA Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS)
The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) works to promote foreign market access for U.S. products, build new markets, improve the competitive position of U.S. agriculture in the global marketplace, and provide food aid and technical assistance to foreign countries. The Managua office works closely with the government and private sector to ensure proper administration of the Food for Progress / Food for Education Programs and reduce barriers to trade while monitoring implementation of the Central American Free Trade Agreement / Dominican Republic (CAFTA/DR).
Visit to RAAS
Mr. Kevin Smith, Agricultural Counselor, went to Bluefields and Pearl Lagoon in May 2012. The main objective was to make an assessment of the needs related to the education sector in the region. In the past, USDA/FAS has funded projects in the Pacific side of Nicaragua with the Food for Education program. The program promotes social investment via school feeding and agricultural diversification projects that include school or community gardens and the reproduction of domestic animals to support the program.
12 de Marzo de 2012
Visit to Isla de Ometepe
USDA/FAS Agricultural Counselor, Mr. Kevin Smith, recently visited the Isla de Ometepe on March 12, 2012, with the purpose of expanding the list of contacts for the preparation of the Hotel, Restaurant, Institutional Report that the Agricultural Assistant prepares annually. In addition to that, Mr. Smith also visited a plantain farm in Moyogalpa where the owner shared the agricultural practices.
14th Americas Food & Beverage Show and Conference
FAS/Managua provided market intelligence to 50 Nicaraguan delegates and assisted them with registration for the show, airplane reservations, and hotel accommodations. The event took place in Miami from October 26-27, 2010. The show was open to food and beverage industry professionals, food service companies, exporters/importers, wholesalers or distributors from all over the world. This represented an excellent opportunity for improving business relations between U.S. and Nicaraguan food industry businessmen. All companies established contacts with new U.S. suppliers. There were 335 exhibitors: 242 were U.S. companies and there were also 93 International companies. Regarding sales, there were approximately $159.2 million in actual and projected sales. The next show and conference will take place in Miami from November 14-15, 2011.
August 15, 2010
Visit by Agricultural Counselor
The Agricultural Counselor, Mr. Kevin N. Smith and FAS/Managua staff traveled to the Atlantic Region in June 2010.
The purpose of the trip was to expand FAS/Managua importer/exporter list, meet new buyers and access the Atlantic Region as a potential area for future implementation of USDA food aid programs.
Swine Fever Eradication
Since October 2006, the Department of Agriculture of the Unites States (USDA) has contribuited to the eradication of the classical swine fever with the phases I, II, y III of the projects under the bilateral agreement with the Government of Nicaragua (GON) in the amount of $941,375. These funds have been used to pay for salaries of the GON staff who implement the project. Also, the funds are used to purchase chemical reactives, vaccinations, training, promotional campaigns and outreach material, among other items necessary for the eradication of this disease.
Classical swine fever is part of a group of sanitary and phyto-sanitary projects financed by USDA. In 1999, USDA started to finance the Food for Progress agreement with both an animal (PROVESA) and a vegetable (PROVISAVE) health surveillance components. The program is implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture (MAGFOR). With the implementation of these programs, Nicaragua may export to international markets by meeting international standards.
USDA has intensified its support from the time the Central American Free Trade Agreement and the Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR) was negotiated. USDA has contributed to strenghten local capacity which has benefited the sector of agricultural exporters and has boosted the benefits of CAFTA-DR in Nicaragua. Since 1999 to date, the Food for Progress Program has financed a $66 millions program in the areas of animal and vegetable health, which is implemented by the Departament of Agricultural Protection and Sanitation (DGPSA).
USTR and USDA caution trading partners to base food safety measures on science during human swine influenza outbreak (Press Release)
Washington, D.C. – United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Monday that while the United States continues to closely monitor for cases of the new H1N1 human influenza, the American food supply is safe. USTR and USDA are working closely with the departments of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor the situation carefully.
In their announcement, Kirk and Vilsack cite references from the World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC statements that there is no evidence of swine influenza being transmitted by meat. According to CDC website: (http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/swineflu_you.htm). “Swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe”.
To read the full press release, please visit the following link: http://www.fas.usda.gov/
Link to the statements made by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE): http://www.oie.int/eng/press/en_090428.htm
First Bioscience Workshop / Introduction to Biotechnology held at the Universidad Nacional de Nicaragua (UNAN) in Managua from February 9-13, 2009
Continuing efforts to consolidate understanding of the biotechnological field, UNAN-Managua strengths human capital to institutionalize knowledge and applications of agricultural biotechnology. Dr. Iván Marín, an FY06 Cochran Fellowship Program participant and FY08 Faculty Exchange Alumnus, carried out the workshop as part of a series of outreach and educational activities programmed for CY 2009 at UNAN-Managua. The workshop focused on the following topics: 1) Concept and types of biotechnology; 2) DNA technology and biotechnological tools; 3) Analysis process in gene sequence and amplification; 4) Site recognition identified by the enzymes that cut DNA; 5) Procedures and cloning vector characteristics; and 6) Utilization of molecular markers to study the specific sequences of DNA in a genome, among others.
Trade fairs and professional short-term scholarships to promote U.S. agricultural products in Nicaragua
Distribuidora el Socorro, S.A. (DISOCSA) a small Nicaraguan importer managed by the Vega-Urbina family, has grown with the support and guidance from FAS/Managua, said Mrs. Mercedes Urbina, DISOCSA’s General Manager.
Since 2003, DISOCSA attended the Food and Marketing Institute tradeshow in Chicago; the International Food and Beverage Show held in Miami and participated in a cold chain seminar and then a Cochran training on the retail sector. Currently, DISOCSA not only distributes to mom and pop stores but also to the largest chains of supermarkets in Nicaragua and to high scale restaurants and hotels nationwide. DISOCSA’s success showcases the results of FAS/Managua’s efforts to promote U.S. agricultural products in Nicaragua and serves as an example on the potential use of FAS’ programs to support U.S. exports while taking advantage of lower import duties under CAFTA-DR.
Marketing efforts from the USG to boost the Nicaraguan economy
The National Police Commissary (NPC), a small Nicaraguan importer owned and managed by the Nicaraguan National Police, has benefited from FAS/Managua’s market intelligence and marketing promotion activities. Since 2003, NPC started attending tradeshows promoted by FAS/Managua, including the International Food and Beverage Show held in Miami and the Food and Marketing Institute Show in Chicago. In 2005, NPC participated in a cold chain seminar organized by FAS/Managua. In the same year, NPC’s Marketing Manager, Mr. Larry Dávila, was selected to participate in a Cochran training on the retail sector. NPC’s success showcases the results of FAS/Managua’s efforts to promote U.S. agricultural products in Nicaragua.