Cigi (more formally the Canadian International Grains Institute) is on the receiving end of a Canadian government commitment to the tune of $6.4 million to establish a Moroccan National Durum Technical Training Centre (DTTC) in Casablanca. According to a Cigi press release, funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) over the next five years for the Capacity Building for Milling Durum Wheat and Pulse Crops project will allow Cigi to play an important role in the development of markets for Canadian durum wheat and pulses in North African countries.
Cigi CEO Earl Geddes says that durum wheat is essential to the Moroccan economy and is the basis for pasta and couscous production. Cigi has worked closely with L’Institut de Formation de l’industrie Meunière (IFIM) on plans to establish a training program dedicated to durum milling and pasta and couscous technology and to the research and development of analytical services related to durum and its end products. This activity paves the way for increased trade with Morocco, building upon established durum markets in support of Canadian farmers, he adds.
“Morocco and other North African countries import a significant amount of Canada Western Amber Durum wheat, and it’s Canada’s largest agricultural export to Morocco, so this is a great opportunity to be partnered with IFIM in providing specific durum wheat training,” he says. Canadian durum exports to Morocco totaled $220 million in 2012.
Through the DTTC, Cigi staff will offer vocational training, information, technical expertise and applied research services to the durum wheat sector in Morocco and other North African countries. This training will assist Morocco in creating better employment opportunities for its citizens and help increase the economic value of its domestic durum industry. Some training will also take place in Cigi’s Winnipeg facilities. A component of the DFATD training project will be focused on the processing and use of pulse crops for food in Morocco.
For more information visit Cigi’s website at: cigi.ca