February 24, 2008 10:15 ET

Government of Canada Supports New Development Projects in Vietnam and Ethiopia

TRURO, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 24, 2008) - On behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, today announced funding for two new development projects that will be managed by Canadian educational institutions.

"The Government of Canada is proud to partner with both the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and Saint Mary's University to deliver concrete results for the people of Ethiopia and Vietnam," said Minister Oda. "Food security has been an enormous issue for Ethiopia, and this funding will train Ethiopians in the latest technological advances in agriculture, specifically post-harvest management, allowing them to provide food on a more consistent basis for their families and communities. The Saint Mary's project will modernize the curriculum at Vietnam's National Economics University, which will help graduates get jobs in Vietnam's growing business sector."

The Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) in Truro will receive $3 million to help Ethiopian farmers, and the agriculture and agri-food industries, increase the quality and availability of local agricultural products, as well as commercialize agriculture in Ethiopia. Saint Mary's University will receive $2.8 million to assist the people of Vietnam in making the transition from a mainly agrarian economy to one that competes more broadly in the global marketplace.

"The people of Nova Scotia should be immensely proud of the contribution overseas by the students and teachers in our community," said Minister MacKay. "Their dedication to the well-being of those less fortunate exhibits the best of what it means to be Canadian."

"In Ethiopia there is as much as a 60 percent loss in vegetables and fruits after harvest," said Dr. Tessema Astatkie, Professor of Statistics and Director of the project, NSAC. "If we can reduce the loss between harvest and consumption by 50 percent, it will mean more food on the table and more money for the farmers, as well as helping to reduce poverty."

"This is a very exciting project for Saint Mary's," said Dr. David Wicks, Dean of the Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary's University. "We will be working directly with the newly formed Centre for Entrepreneurship at National Economics University in Hanoi which will spearhead the initiative. They in turn will work with other departments to develop training programs and coordinate activities among other project partners and stakeholders."

These projects are funded by the University Partnerships in Cooperation and Development Program (UPCD) of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Under that Program, Canadian universities work with organizations in developing countries to increase their ability to meet local human resource and development needs.



Tier 1 projects are funded by the University Partnerships in Cooperation and Development Program (UPCD) of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Canadian universities work with organizations in developing countries to increase their ability to meet local human resource and development needs.

Tier 1 initiatives are administered by the Canadian Partnership Branch (CPB) at CIDA, and fund major multidisciplinary projects. Initiatives are funded on a cost-shared basis and each individual project is eligible for up to $3 million over six years from CIDA. Four new projects were funded this year for a total CIDA contribution of $11,264,858 over six years.

Nova Scotia Agricultural College, in partnership with McGill University, will work with its Ethiopian counterpart, Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (JUCAVM), to strengthen its research, training, outreach, and other activities aimed at improving the country's systems of handling, storing, processing, and marketing agricultural products. This includes creating a network of 30 university, industry, government and community groups with expertise and interest in these issues. The project also includes training, curriculum development, community outreach and policy.

Researchers will develop low-cost techniques for storing, drying, and preserving food and will introduce these techniques to both male and female farmers through community outreach programs. The project will also contribute to the country's agricultural planning and policy development capabilities.

Saint Mary's University will work with Vietnam's National Economics University to modernize its curriculum and help it develop business skills training programs. Researchers will assist faculty in improving their teaching and research skills, with the goal of serving as business consultants and management trainers. Outreach programs will focus on educating small entrepreneurs and the managers of state-owned businesses in techniques such as financial and human resource management, marketing in a global economy, planning, social justice issues, and ethics.

Economic reforms launched by Vietnam almost two decades ago in support of poverty reduction have resulted in a flourishing multi-sector economy that includes small local businesses, foreign-funded joint ventures, and a gradually reforming state-owned sector.

Information: Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: (819) 953-6534

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Joanna Bailey
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of National Defence
    Jay Paxton
    Press Secretary
    Nova Scotia Agricultural College
    Dr. Tessema Astatkie
    Saint Mary's University
    Dr. David Wicks