WISHH: Generating Nutrition and Economic Growth in Developing Countries

 

By: Karen Edwards

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and soybean checkoff has made international marketing a top priority to increase Ohio’s exports of soybeans.  As a result, OSC is helping to build soy demand in developing, but some of the fastest growing economies of the world.  To reach emerging country markets ranging from Africa to Asia to Central America, OSC supports the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH).  Since U.S. soybean farmers founded WISHH in 2000, it has worked in 24 countries to improve diets, as well as encouraged growth of food industries.

Two Ohioans serve in WISHH’s leadership.  In August 2013, ASA President Danny Murphy confirmed Keith Roberts, OSC board member and soybean farmer from Marion County to serve on WISHH’s Committee in 2013-2014.  Bret Davis, OSC and Ohio Soybean Association board member and soybean farmer from Delaware County also joined the WISH Committee last year.

“I wanted to take an active role in WISHH to represent Ohio soybean farmers and assist WISHH in its work that helps people improve their lives through soy,” said Roberts.

WISHH is a leader through more than a decade of developing country initiatives that span entire supply value chins for human foods as well as livestock and aquaculture feeds.  U.S. soy is an affordable, available, nutritious and delicious protein solution for developing country diets.

Experts say that developing countries are the future of market demand for U.S. agriculture.  Visiting Scholar at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Robert Thompson, points out that of the billion additional mouths to be fed in the next 12 years, fewer than 5% of them will be in the high-income countries.  The potential growth markets of the future are in the lower-income countries.

Importantly, income growth in developing countries is also on the rise.  The middle class in developing countries is projected to increase by 160 percent by 2020 compared to just 15 percent in developed countries, according to analysis by Global Insight.

For more information, visit www.wishh.org.

 

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