|Vietnamese Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Cao Duc Phat (R) and Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.—VNA/VNS Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Canada is investing more than US$7.6 million to improve the livelihoods of Vietnamese farmers through increased financing and knowledge of new agricultural practices, Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz told Vietnamese Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Cao Duc Phat during a trade mission to Viet Nam last week.
"This project will deepen Canada's already strong diplomatic and trade relationship with Viet Nam and demonstrates the close partnership that has been cultivated between both countries over the past 40 years," said Ritz. "By improving the productivity of Vietnamese farmers and agribusinesses, Canada is supporting Viet Nam's continued economic growth and helping strengthen two-way trade between our two countries."
Under the project, thousands of farmers across Viet Nam will be provided with technical assistance and training related to banks and agribusiness, with the aim of both increasing access to financing and improving agricultural practices. The five-year investment will target farmers of export-oriented commodities, such as cashews and coffee, two major Canadian imports from Viet Nam in 2012.
"I believe that the new project will certainly be beneficial to the farmers and also contribute to the implementation of Viet Nam's agriculture restructuring programme," said Phat.
As Canada and Viet Nam celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations, the countries' trade relationship continues to prosper, with trade and investment rapidly increasing and a prominent development cooperation programme underway.
Canada's exports of agri-food and seafood to Viet Nam reached $146 million in 2012, consisting prominently of seafood, soybeans, non-durum wheat and canola meal. The major products exported from Viet Nam to Canada were cashews, coffee, nuts and seeds.
"Through this investment, our government is helping Vietnamese farmers improve their livelihoods," said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Canada's Minister of International Development and for La Francophonie. "Canada is supporting initiatives that contribute to sustainable economic growth in Viet Nam, assisting farmers throughout the production cycle from their access to credit through technical training and best practices to access to markets and commercialisation of their products." — VNS