Minister of State Lenihan visiting Nicaragua announces a doubling in support for Fairtrade and ethical development initiatives in Central America
The Minister of State for Development and Human Rights, Conor Lenihan T.D., today (25/11/05) joined the President of Nicaragua, Enrique Bolaños, in opening an important new sesame seed processing plant for cooperative farmers. In his speech, the Minister announced the Government's intention to increase aid to Nicaragua and other Central American countries to at least US$6 million over the next three years.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister said:
“The Irish Government is committed to continuing its cooperation with Nicaragua and with the wider region. In particular, in 2006 our contribution to the development of ethical and Fairtrade initiatives in Nicaragua and Central America will double.
Our cooperation with Nicaragua, both bilaterally and through Irish NGOs, increased each year over the last three years. This growth will continue, amounting to at least US$6 million over the next three year period. I am sending a high-level team from my Department on a mission here in the first quarter of 2006 to see how we can further develop our engagement with Nicaragua and the region.”
The Minister is in Nicaragua to promote development through fair and ethical trading. On Thursday he met with coffee growers who will receive a better price for their coffee because of Fairtrade with Ireland and the commitment of companies like Bewley's, who have built ethical trade links with local farmers.
The Government's support to the Del Campo sesame seed federation (187,000 euro over the period from 2003 – 2006) has played a critical part in increasing the capacity of the federation to develop its business, to better support its clients, and to further improve the situation of Nicaraguan farmers.
25th November 2005