WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), in September 2012, successfully fostered the removal of the value added tax (VAT) and custom tax on all feed imports in Algeria, including distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and corn gluten feed (CGF). Last week that effort paid off with the first importation of the high-value U.S. products into the nation, the USGC said on Sept. 12.

Sarl Nutrimag, an Algerian commercial importer, made the first ever purchase of U.S. DDGS and CGF into Algeria, which began unloading on Sept. 5. According to Cary Sifferath, USGC regional director for the Middle East and Africa, this shipment is one of the beginning steps to a greater future for U.S. DDGS and CGF in the Algerian market.

"Through continuous Council efforts and support from our allies, products like DDGS and CGF were included in a list of feed ingredients that have had their import duties and VAT reduced to zero until August 2014," said Sifferath. "This shipment of U.S. DDGS and CGF will open the door for end-users in Algeria to buy U.S. corn co-products in the future. The Council sees opportunities for these products fitting well into both the Algerian poultry and dairy industries."

In coordination with work on the policy side, the Council is educating the larger commercial feed companies and other large end-users in Algeria, so that they become comfortable using DDGS and CGF in livestock rations.

Algeria is the second-largest country in North Africa with a population of 35 million and is the second-largest importer of feed grains on the continent after Egypt. Despite its large land mass, only three percent is considered arable, necessitating Algeria to import 80 percent of its food needs to meet the demands of its growing population. As a result, Algeria is currently the largest importer of food products in Africa.