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Canada pledges nearly CAD13mn for Vietnam’s agriculture development project

Saturday, November 21, 2015, 11:04 GMT+7
Canada pledges nearly CAD13mn for Vietnam’s agriculture development project
A man carries a bag of paddies out of a rice field in Tien Giang Province, located in southern Vietnam.

Canada will contribute CAD12.9 million (US$9.66 million) to a project aiming to support agriculture development for Vietnam, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said.

The financial aid will be granted for the Vietnamese Cooperative Enterprise Development (VCED) project in five years from 2015 to 2020, in partnership with the Société de coopération pour le développement international (SOCODEVI), the Canadian Prime Minister’s website said in a statement on Thursday.

The project aims to increase the competiveness of Vietnamese agricultural cooperatives, helping create economic opportunities for small-holder farmers, particularly female farmers, according to the statement.

It will help develop a national strategy to scale up and replicate the success of high-performance cooperatives, and assist cooperatives to create and implement business plans, while developing financing mechanisms to enable them to acquire new technology for the processing and marketing of agricultural products.

The project will also deliver training programs on governance and gender equality, environmentally sustainable agricultural production techniques, such as safe application of fertilizer and pesticides, and post-harvest handling in order to meet quality certification standards and access new markets.

“The project will leverage Canadian expertise in agriculture—to help improve the production and quality of sustainable agriculture production in Vietnam—strengthen cooperative management practices, and improve access to new markets,” the statement reads.

Canadian agricultural cooperatives and Vietnamese agricultural officials and farmers will share knowledge and best practices through hands-on experience.

“Canada is a country with a great deal to offer,” Prime Minister Trudeau said in a statement.

“Our expertise in agricultural cooperatives will help ensure that Vietnam is able to apply production techniques - that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.”

The Canadian premier also said the cooperation will “unlock shared prosperity for families and individuals now and into the future.”

It is expected that some 10,000 farming households in five Vietnamese provinces will benefit from the project, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

SOCODEVI is a Canadian not-for-profit international development corporation that has over 13 years of experience working in Vietnam, according to the Justin Trudeau’s website.

The corporation is recognized globally for its expertise in agri-food sector development, strengthening cooperatives, and supporting governments to improve the policy and regulatory framework for cooperatives.

In September last year, Vietnam and Canada, which set up diplomatic ties in 1973, signed a letter of intent to deepen people-to-people ties, and partnerships in education, trade, investment, security, among others, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

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