August 29, 2009 15:19 ET

Women Farmers in Paraguayan Rural Communities Receive Support From Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 29, 2009) - The Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board, on behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced Canada's support of a new project that will advance the objectives of the national development program in four impoverished communities in South America. The project is Building the Capacity of Women Farmers For Their Full Participation in Rural Development. Minister Toews also met with officials from the Paraguayan government and aid organizations.

"The project supports Canada's engagement in the Americas, matching Canadian expertise with NGOs in the region. It will strengthen local communities and promote the economic sustainability of local farmers by encouraging the adoption of sustainable organic agriculture techniques," said Minister Toews.

"Canada's support will benefit women, who have an average of six children each and are their family's main source of support through subsistence farming, earning a daily income of less than one Canadian dollar a day. This project will help them successfully overcome these challenges with new skills, making a real difference in their lives," said Minister Oda. "This project reflects Canada's commitment to effectively increase its support to agriculture with demonstrable results for women and their families living in poverty."

Through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), two Canadian NGOs working with two local Paraguayan organizations in four rural impoverished communities: Caaguazu, Isla Pucu, Santa Ana, and Libertad del Sur, will benefit 30,000 people. The activities include: repairs to a water distribution system to increase access to safe drinking water; workshops on organic agricultural and business practices that will help increase production and revenues for women farmers and improve the quality of nutrition for 3,100 recipients.

Earlier in the day, Minister Toews also visited the Fernheim Coop Dairy Plant. A CIDA-funded project implemented at the dairy plant contributed to improving efficiencies of the processing plant, increasing quality standards of dairy products and achieving quality certification to improve export opportunities.



The project Building the Capacity of Women Farmers for Their Full Participation in Rural Development addresses key challenges in rural Paraguay. It will contribute to improving food security, the economic prospects and lives of women farmers, their children and local communities. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is providing funding of CAD$384,737 to support this project, which will be implemented by two Canadian organizations and two Paraguay non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The two Canadian organizations involved are Nature Canada, which focuses on environment protection and organic agriculture, and Place aux agricultrices: Nourricieres du monde, which promotes the interests of female farmers in developing countries. The two Paraguayan partners are Guyra Paraguay and Fortaleser, two NGOs with complementary experience in organic agriculture and community and social development.

This project will work with women farmers to improve the living conditions in four disadvantaged rural communities of Paraguay, with a total population of 30,000 people: Caaguazu, Isla Pucu, Santa Ana, and Libertad del Sur. The targeted women farmers, who have on average six children and other dependents, live off subsistence farming, earning a daily income of less than one Canadian dollar.

The project's activities include the following: repairs to a water distribution system; workshops on organic agriculture and product commercialization, health and nutrition, citizens' rights, biodiversity, and rural development ecosystems; the creation of community leadership committees for participating in local decision making; and the promotion of gender issues awareness at the community level.

Through these activities, the project aims to achieve the following: increase access to safe drinking water; increase organic agriculture production and revenues for 450 producers; improve quality of nutrition for 3,100 people; improve knowledge of disease prevention, by sensitizing communities; and increase participation of women at local decision-making levels.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Jean-Luc Benoit
    Director of Communications
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office