Harper Government supports economic growth in Morocco

WINNIPEG, Canada — Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, the Honourable Gerry Ritz, announced today, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, the Harper Government’s support for stimulating sustainable economic growth in Morocco’s agricultural sector. Minister Ritz recognized the Canadian International Grains Institute for their role in the new project, which will provide customized training programs and specialized technical support to Moroccans.

"The initiative announced today is a great example of how Canada promotes economic opportunities at home and around the world," said Minister Ritz. "We are proud to partner with the Canadian International Grains Institute to foster increased use of world class Canadian product while helping the agricultural sector workers in Morocco attain the fullest possible potential."

Just as the Harper Government announces the biggest free trade agreement in Canadian history with the signing of the agreement in principle of the Comprehensive  Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union, it remains committed to exploring access to new markets. In 2012, bilateral merchandise trade with Morocco totaled $522.6 million. Morocco is already an important export destination for Canadian merchandise exports, with durum wheat being Canada’s largest export to Morocco. Canada is committed to strengthening its commercial relations with Morocco and is currently negotiating a free trade agreement. The initiative announced today is another demonstration of Canada’s commitment to efforts that will ensure Morocco is able to benefit from increased trade with Canada.

The project announced today will provide Moroccans with specialized vocational training in milling and end-use of durum and pulses, as well as increase knowledge of the quality of Canadian durum, and how to use pulses in new and innovative ways. With focus on education, vocational training and entrepreneurship, Canada is supporting Moroccan efforts to improve skills and job creation and to offer greater opportunity, particularly to youth and women.

Based in Winnipeg, the Canadian International Grains Institute is an independent market development institute established in 1972. Its mission is to create profitable opportunities for Canadian field crops through the delivery of technical expertise, support, applied research and customized training to the domestic industry and customers around the world. CIGI is funded by farmers, the Government of Canada and industry partners.

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For more information, media should contact:

Margaux Stastny, Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Development
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: margaux.stastny@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD)
Telephone: 819-995-1874
Email: media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATDCanada

Backgrounder

The Capacity Building for Milling Durum Wheat and Pulse Crops project will address unemployment by providing Moroccans with specialized vocational training in durum wheat milling and farming. The Government of Canada will contribute $6.6 million over five years to the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI) to implement this initiative.

Currently in Morocco, there is a high demand for skilled employees in specialized sub-sectors of agriculture, particularly in the milling industry—an area in which Canadian expertise is widely recognized. The initiative announced today will help modernize and improve milling practices through vocational training that will generate employment opportunities for Moroccans.

This project will be implemented in collaboration with Morocco’s Ministry of Agriculture, and will contribute to the implementation of that country’s Green Plan in relation to vocational training. The CGI will be working with the Moroccan National Federation of Millers and the Moroccan Milling Industry Training Facility to implement this project.

The project will contribute to the following results:

  • Increased productivity in the milling of durum wheat sector:
    • An additional 7 million tonnes of durum wheat will be milled annually in Morocco; current production is 50 million tonnes.
    • The milled durum wheat produced in Morocco will better comply with international standards.
  • Increased use of milled pulse crops in end-use products:
    • Three new products incorporating milled pulse crops will be developed.
    • The milled pulse crops produced in Morocco will better comply with international standards.
  • An increased number of women will be employed in the milling of durum wheat sector:
    • Fifty women will gain employment in technical and managerial positions in the milling industry.

For more information on Canada’s support to Morocco, you can visit DFATD's website at http://www.international.gc.ca/international/index.aspx