OTTAWA, Canada, March 12, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Smallholder farmers in Africa will learn sustainable farming practices and improve the health and nutrition of their families thanks to a partnership between the Government of Canada and Western University. Today, Member of Parliament Susan Truppe, on behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, announced Canada’s support for a farmer-to-farmer agro-ecology project in Malawi.
“The Harper Government is committed to providing increased food security to those most in need as part of Canada’s effective international assistance. Through this partnership with Western University, Canadians can take pride in knowing that farmers in Malawi will improve the availability and nutrition of the food they provide for their families,” said MP Truppe. “By tapping into the expertise of Western University, Canada will help improve food security, nutrition and livelihoods of farm families in Malawi.”
This investment will help Western University work with its local partners to strengthen the farming practices of more than 30,000 smallholder farmers in Malawi. Through the project’s unique focus on farmer-to-farmer education, 6,000 farming households will learn agro-ecological farming methods and will be provided with technical support in food production and cooperative development. In addition, 200 youth will receive training in operating small businesses.
“Western University thanks the Government of Canada for supporting this project that builds on over a decade of research by Canadian and Malawian researchers, documenting strong evidence that farmer experimentation and farmer-to-farmer teaching can improve child nutrition, food availability, and land quality,” said Rachel Bezner Kerr, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. “We are thrilled to extend our farmer-led, sustainable efforts to improve the lives of poor families in Malawi.”
The Harper Government remains committed to making our foreign assistance more effective, so that Canadians are, in turn, able to make a greater difference in the lives of those who count on—and benefit from—Canada’s help.
The Western University project will be funded through CIDA’s Partners for Development Program for $2.5 million.
For more information, please visit CIDA’s University Partners page.