REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA — Viterra Inc. announced on April 25 that it has donated more than C$175,000 in crop inputs to support 50 projects across Western Canada to raise funds for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

"Viterra has a long history of supporting hunger relief efforts, and is committed to improving health and nutrition around the world. We are proud to partner with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank in the fight against global hunger and to provide communities in the developing world with nutritious food and agricultural assistance," said Doug Wonnacott, Viterra's chief operating officer, Agri-Products.

The in-kind donations, which include seed, fertilizer and crop protection products, will be used to plant a variety of crops including wheat, durum, barley, canola and flax. A total of 8,247 acres will be seeded as a result of Viterra's contribution this year.

"Support from Viterra is an important part of our effort to end global hunger," said John Longhurst, who directs communications and marketing for the Foodgrains Bank. "By helping the growing projects reduce input costs, more money can be provided for people who don't have enough to eat."

Once harvested, the projects will sell the crops and send the proceeds to the Foodgrains Bank, which will use the money to provide food, agricultural assistance and nutrition programs in the developing world.

Last year, the Foodgrains Bank approved 116 projects worth C$44 million to help two million people in 36 countries. Over C$15 million of that total was committed to Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia; three countries struck by last year's severe food shortage in East Africa. This year, the Foodgrains Bank is committing an additional C$3.1 million of aid to those countries, along with $6.7 million for countries in the Sahel region of Africa where a food crisis is currently looming.

Since 2001, Viterra has donated in excess of C$750,000 in crop inputs to support the Foodgrains Bank projects. Donations of grain to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank are accepted at all Viterra grain facilities.