../Morning Post
Posted December 15, 2010
Developing Communities


OTTAWA – The Minister for International Cooperation Beverley J. Oda announced the government's support to help rice farmers and home-based textile producers in Ethiopia boost their family incomes. The project, Ethiopians Driving Growth, Entrepreneurship and Trade, implemented by Mennonite Economic Development Associates, will benefit 50,000 Ethiopians living in poverty.

“This MEDA project will directly make a difference for Ethiopian families and help them increase their family incomes,” said the Honourable Bev Oda, Minister of International Cooperation. “By investing in this initiative, Canada will be helping approximately 50,000 people in Ethiopia.”

“Ethiopia is among the poorest countries in the world, though strides have been made in recent years,” says Alex Snelgrove, MEDA market linkages project manager. “Assisting these two sectors is pivotal to capitalizing on recent gains and helping more Ethiopians climb out of poverty.”

Agriculture employs more than 80 percent of the population in Ethiopia, the majority being smallholder farmers. Tens of thousands of Ethiopian families are also engaged in small-scale production of cotton garments.

This initiative will help rice farmers improve production, irrigation, storage, processing and transportation techniques, as well as provide financial support services. In the textile sector, the focus will be to increase the marketability of products, improve market awareness, provide needed supplies and equipment, and credit.

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