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Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz salutes the agriculture industry's success at the Salon International de l'Agriculture au Maroc (SIAM) held in Meknes, Morocco, last week.
Canada's agriculture industry estimates that their participation in Africa's largest agricultural trade show will generate approximately $21 million in sales over the next 12 months.
Canada was the "Country of Honour" at the 2012 SIAM and won the award for best pavilion of the International Hall. The Harper Government invested $215,000 and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Canada Brand team worked with industry to create the award-winning pavilion. Industry estimates suggest that for every dollar invested in this project, $98 was created for industry.
"Our Government takes every opportunity to promote the exceptional and innovative quality of Canadian agriculture and food products," said Minister Ritz. "Canada's success at SIAM is yet another demonstration of our Government and industry's partnership focused on strengthening the farm gate."
A diverse group of 16 exhibitors representing many of Canada's agricultural sectors, from potatoes to pulses to honey, were part of the Canada Pavilion. Canada's innovative livestock genetics, greenhouse design and construction were also on display.
Canadian companies have shown a strong interest in the Moroccan market. That is why Minister Ritz was in Morocco last week working to advance free trade negotiations and to sign a memorandum of understanding that will strengthen Canada and Morocco's partnership. Minister Ritz introduced Canadian exhibitors to Morocco's Prince Moulay Rachid and Agriculture Minister Aziz Akhannouch.
"This event provided a unique opportunity to showcase some of the best of Canadian agriculture to a broad range of Moroccan and foreign buyers and decision makers," continued Minister Ritz. "A free trade agreement will create more opportunities for both Canada and Morocco's farmers, strengthening the long-term prosperity of our countries."
Agricultural products account for the vast majority of trade between Canada and Morocco. In 2011, Morocco's agriculture imports from Canada totalled more than $188 million.
SIAM is the largest agricultural trade show in Africa. Visited by some 700,000 people over the five-day event, the 2012 edition included 850 exhibitors, 250 foreign exhibitors from 40 countries and 200 accredited local and international journalists.