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MARYLAND SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE ATTENDS CONFERENCE ON AID TO FORMER SOVIET REPUBLICS

 MARYLAND SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE ATTENDS CONFERENCE
 ON AID TO FORMER SOVIET REPUBLICS
 ANNAPOLIS, Md., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Robert L. Walker represented the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) at a conference in Washington Jan. 22 and 23 on private sector assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States (the former Soviet Union). The Citizens Democracy Corps sponsored the meeting which was attended by numerous high ranking federal officials. President George Bush addressed the delegates on the importance of an effective response to the urgent needs for humanitarian aid to this part of the world since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
 Walker chairs a task force for NASDA on developing agricultural ties between the farm industry in the United States and the emerging republics. He recently returned from a World Bank Mission to Moscow where he examined the food distribution and processing system under the Soviet system. For a number of years as deputy secretary of agriculture in Maryland, Walker has been instrumental in establishing exchange programs between Soviet agriculturalists and their counterparts in Maryland.
 "I was pleased to be invited to this conference to encourage the private and public sectors to work together to help these emerging democracies," Walker said.
 "I think it is absolutely essential that those of us involved in U.S. agriculture do whatever we can to foster opportunities for a long-term cooperative effort between public and private agencies in the United States and the Commonwealth of Independent States," said Walker.
 In addition to President Bush, others on the agenda included Secretary of State James A. Baker III and Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. The discussions on aid focused around four task forces -- food, medical, democratic institutions and market economics.
 "The need is urgent, and I hope these meetings will enable the U.S. private sector to increase its effectiveness in responding to the requirements for humanitarian aid and technical assistance from the peoples in the former Soviet Union," Walker said.
 -0- 1/23/92
 /CONTACT: Harold Kanarek of the Maryland Department of Agriculture, 410-841-5882/ CO: Maryland Department of Agriculture ST: Maryland IN: SU:


SB -- DC009 -- 2793 01/23/92 12:09 EST
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Date:Jan 23, 1992
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