North Dakota grant to help promote specialty crops to MENA countries

October 26, 2017 – The North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) announced today that it has been awarded a $169,850 grant to promote North Dakota’s specialty crops to international buyers.

USDA Speciality crop

The grant was awarded by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, which administers the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The NDTO will use the funds to create the Specialty Crop Program 2017, which will increase the state’s global market visibility and competitiveness of the specialty crop sector, with this year’s primary focus on the Middle East and North Africa.

Specialty crops included in this block grant program are peas, beans, lentils, and confectionary sunflowers. A full list of specialty crops is available on the USDA’s website.

The Specialty Crop Program 2017 will involve market research on both existing and promising markets for pulse crops, a limited number of competitive grants to exporters for foreign focused sales trips, a trade mission and a reverse trade mission focused on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The MENA region is a significant importer of pulses and is buying predominately from Canada. The NDTO seeks to increase North Dakota’s market share by organizing a trade mission to the region, with dates to be announced. A reverse trade mission will follow, taking place in North Dakota and promoting regional pulse crops and pulse ingredients to potential buyers.

Information and applications for the Specialty Crop Program are available on the NDTO website at

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