Posts Tagged ‘trade mission’
The year was 2007, and our newly formed company, FAIM (Forestry and Agriculture Investment Management) was invited by USDA, (United States Department of Agriculture) to travel Kenya to meet with representatives from 8 selected African countries to present our project. As mentioned in my last post, the point of the USDA Trade Missions to different countries is to take your “wares” to new markets. In our case the USDA liked our concept to help the farmers so much that they made an exception and featured FAIM to present to the visitors attending the mission meetings.
The concept is simple. FAIM would establish a state of the art plant propagation facility in Africa based on significant know-how and the latest research in tissue culture, lab and production techniques. We would produce a wide variety of plants for food security, foods for processing, erosion, reforestation and soil stabilization. FAIM would not be plant specific but would cater to the plant needs of that particular area of the world. FAIM would provide innovation with the latest scientific research to propagate the highest numbers of disease free plants for the best possible price of any facility of its kind in the world. More importantly FAIM would be a private business, selling plants, and would be profitable and therefore sustainable.
FAIM was given a meeting room to present our venue before a distinguished group, including government officials, representatives from Universities, and private sector business people. The meeting was a success and after the presentation everyone had questions. The next three days were very busy with everyone wanting our attention. It was in Kenya that we met the representatives from Rwanda.
I will not bore you with the details of the next five years through the development and the evolution of FAIM, but from time to time I may mention different subjects in a paragraph or two when the story may need depth.
The real story begins in 2011 when the decision was made for FAIM to begin business and develop its first facility in Rwanda.
To be continued in my next post.Steve
In 2005, I was invited on the USDA Trade Mission to South Africa and in a last minute effort, added a stop to Madagascar. I found the people of Madagascar to be friendly, kind and happy. To observe them was to see individuals who were busy, going and doing. Their island country was beautiful with much flora and fauna, it still came with its problems. Deforestation is a critical issue in many areas where clear cutting is being done without any replanting. Even though I only visited this charming place for a few days, it stayed with me well onto the next stop in South Africa.
The point of the USDA Trade Missions to different countries is to take your “wares” to new markets. As much as I wanted to try to offer all of these people something, I had nothing that they could possibly need or that could help their situation. While attending meetings in South Africa, my thoughts of how I could possibly help countries solve some of their agricultural and erosion issues and allow the people to benefit as well. Between meetings and during evenings, I had long conversations with my wife who was back home in the states. She and I brainstormed on possible projects that could be done to help both land and its people. Before I left South Africa, we had created our basic plan.
Once I returned home, we worked long hours to further develop our plan. Hardly a few months after returning from Madagascar and South Africa, I had another USDA Trade Mission to attend in Kenya. The director of the Trade Missions kept informed of the progress of our new project. He was an early cheerleader of this concept and set aside time at the Kenya meeting of local businessmen to introduce it as a solution to help control erosion issues within their countries and to work with their farmers.
To be continued in my next post.