Thhe Iowa Farm Bureau’s president says that after his recent trip to India, he’s convinced there’s a market there for Iowa soybeans. Craig Lange was one of the people who traveled to India last week with Iowa’s governor. “Really saw an opportunity in providing a higher-value protein food to nursing mothers (and) infant children,” Lange says. “As the middle class grows they’re going to look for higher-value products in protein and Iowa farmers are growing that every day.”
Lange says India’s middle class is growing significantly, but he was staggered by the amount of poverty he saw. “I’ve seen poverty in Africa and Mexico and South America and China but to see as much as I saw in India,” Lange says. Yet Lange says government officials in India told the delegation the country’s middle class was growing by about 10 percent each year.
According to Lange, that means about 45 million people in India are currently looking for higher-value food products than what’s currently available in their country, and that’s a niche Iowa can help fill.
“If we can get the trade barriers reduced in India, if we can develop relationships with the people of India, then I think they’ll look to the Midwest to supply them,” Lange says. He’s found in trips abroad that people from Iowa get invited to meet with officials who balk at meeting with folks from the U.S. government. Lange left India last Wednesday and arrived back in Iowa Thursday.