DENVER -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the purchase of 230 metric tons of U.S. dehydrated potato flakes under the $900 million PL480 Title II Program. This purchase represents 507,150 pounds of dehy or the fresh weight equivalent of 35,500 cwt of potatoes and is the first time dehy has been purchased under the Title II program. The dehy will go to Counterpart International (CPI) for school feeding programs in Northern Senegal.
This procurement is a result of previous work with CPI through the industry funded and USPB led Internation Food Aid Initiative (IFIA). The IFIA conducted a demonstration project with CPI by donating a container of dehy and providing training in the field to test acceptability among its participants in Senegal. The dehy was so well-liked that CPI included it in its Title II program, which lasts through 2008.
The dehy comes at a crucial time, as Northern Senegal is still reeling from the effects of locust and a drought in 2004/2005. The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates 800,000 people were affected in Northern Senegal.
The dehy will be used in the "Bamtaare Fouta Toro Project," primarily in meals for 11,000 students in 124 preschools and schools. In addition to food for education activities, which increase attendance and reduce absenteeism, the CPI Title II program includes maternal and child health and nutrition programs and HIV/AIDS interventions.
While dehy has been approved for purchase under USDA administered programs, this represents the first time that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has approved the inclusion of dehy in the much larger Title II program. According to Teresa Kuwahara, International Marketing Manager at the USPB: "This success in Senegal and the ongoing work of the IFAI with Title II participants in Africa should lead to increased purchases through Title II and a significant increase in the amount of dehy purchased for international food aid programs."