ST. LOUIS, Mo (USA), February 28, 2011 – Novus International, Inc. partnered in the launch of two major agribusiness development programs designed to enhance sustainable food security in Africa and overcome the barriers to economic investment in the continent’s agribusiness sector.

The programs are sponsored by the Corporate Council on Africa and the National 4-H Council, respectively. Both initiatives were launched at separate events in Washington D.C. last week with the participation of Novus President and CEO, Thad Simons.

The CCA’s Agribusiness Working Group launched “It’s Time For Agribusiness in Africa: Are You Being Left Behind?” on February 22, 2011 with a program featuring industry leaders, federal government officials, and African trade experts.

Simons participated in a private sector panel at the event discussing innovation and technology transfer in the agricultural value chain. Other discussions focused on financing agricultural projects in Africa and the challenges and rewards of investing in African markets, and integrating them into regional and global supply chains.

“Exploring the Potential of a Global 4-H Network” was conducted February 23, 2011 by National 4-H Council, the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Cooperative Extension, and private sector partners. The program will link 4-H programs in the United States with others around the world and develop a global network that employs the 4-H model to create sustainable livelihoods and improve economic security for young people.

Simons gave welcoming remarks at the program’s opening ceremonies to corporate sponsors and 4-H delegates from around the world. Tanzania 4-H is the test partner for the first year of the initiative. The lessons learned in the first year will provide guidance to 4-H leaders of other countries on the continent of Africa. Partnerships with mature and emerging African and Asian 4-H programs will bring 4-H resources to bear on the issues of hunger, food security, and sustainable livelihoods.

“Novus’s commitment to the global development of animal health is based on our vision to 'help feed the world affordable, wholesome food and achieve a higher quality of life,’” Simons said at the opening ceremonies. “As sponsor of today’s Opening Ceremony, I congratulate 4-H leadership and the early investors in shaping an internet platform so that topical, current knowledge about crops and livestock will be available throughout the 4-H network.”

The Corporate Council on Africa’s Agribusiness Working Group is a forum for U.S. -based companies to foster an enabling environment for investment in Africa’s agricultural value-chains. Areas of focus include value chain enhancement, market information, trade and investment, financing, agricultural technology, technical assistance, natural resource management, capacity building, networking and partnership building and stakeholder alignment.

4-H programs have taken root in more than 70 countries in North, South, and Central America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Globally, 4-H programs operate autonomously, but all share the goal of improving the lives of millions of young people and their families. 4-H has been proven an effective tool for agricultural and economic development worldwide.

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