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CIDA boosts food security.

CANADA'S tentative new food security strategy received rave reviews from the Canadian Foodgrains Bank when it was unveiled in late October.

"The big difference is its emphasis on agriculture," said Paul Hagerman, public policy manager for CFGB. He noted that the Canadian International Development Agency had always invested money in agriculture, but had never pegged it as a priority, though many of the world's hungry are small-scale farmers.

The new plan, which attempts to balance the short and long term needs of poor and disenfranchised farmers, includes $62 million for a new Canadian International Food Security Research Fund--to be run jointly by CIDA and the International Development Research Centre--and a doubling of Canadian support to the International Fund for Agricultural Development over the next three years to a total of $75 million. Research will focus on nutrition, self-sufficiency for farmers and sustainable agriculture.

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"We like what we see, but with one caveat," Hagerman said. "We haven't seen much. CIDA hasn't released a detailed plan to say what's going to happen, and we're looking for indications that they'll actually be working with small-scale farmers." When the Record went to print, CIDA had released only excerpts from a speech made by Beverly Oda, minister of International Cooperation, and a short backgrounder on the forthcoming plan.--C.P.
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Publication:Presbyterian Record
Date:Dec 1, 2009
Words:217
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