WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The USDA will donate approximately 4,000 metric tons of rice and 2,400 tons of soybean oil to the Government of the Republic of Cameroon.



The Government of Cameroon will sell the rice and use the proceeds to support agricultural and rural development projects. These include an agricultural production program focused on fruit trees and medicinal plants, micro-credit loans, community development, and capacity building for nongovernmental organizations. Proceeds will also be used for post-harvest small tools production, which will prolong shelf life and add value to agricultural products; and a waste management project to transform household waste into fertilizer to be sold at a low cost to farmers for soil enrichment.



Additional proceeds will be used to provide funding for 10 Norman E. Borlaug fellowships, which will provide short-term training in agricultural and related topics to researchers, scientists, faculty members and government officials.



The donation will be made under USDA's Food for Progress program, administered by the Foreign Agricultural Service. The supply period for this donation is fiscal year 2006.



Wheat and bread flour going to Mali

The USDA also will donate 7,750 metric tons of wheat and 4,500 metric tons of bread flour to the Government of the Republic of Mali (GRM).



The GRM will sell the agricultural commodities in Mali and use the proceeds to purchase local commodities to replenish the national food security stock, fund agricultural projects in food insecure areas, and provide 20 Norman E. Borlaug Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowships.



The donations will be made under USDA's Food for Progress program, administered by the Foreign Agricultural Service. The supply period for for the Cameroon and Mali donations is fiscal year 2006.



The Food for Progress program provides for USDA donations of agricultural commodities to needy countries to encourage economic or agricultural reforms that foster free enterprise. This year, USDA expects to donate around 560,000 tons of U.S. commodities to 28 countries under Food for Progress.



SOURCE: USDA/FAS news releases.