Foothills MP and Associate Ag Critic, John Barlow, is seeing first hand the effect Canadian agriculture producers are having across the world.

Barlow is touring the works of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank in Guatemala this week.

Through the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, farmers across Canada contribute portions of their crops to fund global initiatives to end world hunger.

"A lot of the growing agricultural industry here (Guatemala) is using methods and seed from Canadian contributors," Barlow says. "We're going to be touring around some of those areas seeing how they're implementing the knowledge and resources from Canada to try and build their agriculture community here."

There are over 200 Canadian Foodgrains Bank growing projects in Canada.

He says Guatemala is still getting its political feet underneath it after 20 years of civil war in the 80's and 90's.

"A lot of their agriculture is based on corn, beans, coffee, and sugar, but they need to start growing cash crops that they can help feed their own population here as well as build more of an export market in other commodities."

Guatemala is Canada's largest trade partner in Central America.

Barlow says, the Foodgrains Bank not only feeds people but provides them with the knowledge and skills to develop agricultural parcels to grow their own crops sustainably.

He says the projects in Guatemala are helping their small farmers improve yields with better seed, technical support, and innovation.

Guatemala is one of the top six countries in the world with the highest rates of malnutrition, Barlow says.

"One of the main goals of the Canada Foodgrains Bank and World Food Program in Guatemala is to address severe malnutrition and stunting among children.The focus is on newborn and child health and nutrition."

Barlow is in Guatemala until Friday, April 13.

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