SOURCE: National Cooperative Business Association

National Cooperative Business Association

May 18, 2011 12:48 ET

"Through Cooperative Enterprise, 'Aid' Becomes 'Security,'" Says Hazen on NCBA's Food for Progress Award

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - May 18, 2011) - President and CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association Paul Hazen met yesterday with the United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Ambassador Tony Hall and awardees of the US Department of Agriculture's Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition programs to discuss challenges and opportunities for food aid.

NCBA's CLUSA International Program (CLUSA) has received an award under USDA's Food for Progress program for fiscal year 2011. The program will benefit more than 90,000 people and has an estimated value of $12 million.

Secretary Vislack has commented that these food assistance programs support global food security and sustainable agriculture production in food-insecure nations. He said, "But our efforts to support global food security are not just important to the many people around the world who do not have access to nutritious and safe food; they are also critically important to the sustainable economic growth of these nations, and the economic prosperity and national security of our own country."

Food for Progress participants sell donated US commodities in recipient countries and use the funds generated to introduce and expand free enterprise in the agricultural sector of developing countries and emerging democracies.

This CLUSA program enables food security by increasing agricultural productivity of maize and beans through new technologies and conservation farming practices. The program will organize smallholder farmers into cooperative structures to improve the price each farmer receives for the produce.

"Cooperative enterprise can create economic viability through self-help and self-responsibility," said Hazen. "NCBA was successful in its application for this award because our program enables farmers to take control of their own food systems. Through cooperative enterprise, food 'aid' can become food security," he continued.

This award marks a return to Uganda for the NCBA's CLUSA International Program where previously established programs continue to thrive, demonstrating the sustainability of efforts focused on enabling self-reliance and economic empowerment through cooperative enterprise.

Headquartered in Washington, the National Cooperative Business Association represents cooperatives of all types, across all industries, providing a strong, unified voice on Capitol Hill and diligently working with lawmakers to enact cooperative friendly legislation. NCBA's comprehensive programs help co-ops strengthen their businesses so they can better serve their members and transform the global economy. NCBA also creates connections across all sectors of the nation's more than 29,000 cooperative businesses, including agriculture, food distribution and retailing, childcare, credit unions, purchasing, worker-owned, housing, healthcare, energy and telecommunications cooperatives. NCBA's CLUSA International Program has helped develop cooperatives and other sustainable businesses in over 100 countries since 1953. CLUSA currently implements 23 projects in 10 countries. In the 2012, cooperatives around the world will celebrate the International Year of Cooperatives. Cooperative enterprises build a better world. To learn more about NCBA, visit

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