VIENNA, Sept 12 (KUNA) -- The United Nations Industrial Development
Organization (UNIDO) and the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) will work
together to build the capacity of agribusiness value chains in developing
countries and countries with economies in transition, and help them increase
A partnership agreement was signed in Vienna Thursday by LI Yong, the
Director General of UNIDO, and Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the Food
Processing and Packaging Machinery Association and the Process Plant and
Equipment Association within the German Engineering Federation (VDMA).
VDMA represents over 3,100 mainly small and medium-sized enterprises in the
engineering industry, and is the largest engineering industry network in
"Firms in agribusiness value chains in developing countries and countries
with economies in transition require support to upgrade and enhance compliance
with market requirements to develop and take advantage of business
opportunities in domestic and export markets," said Director General LI.
"Our strategic partnership with the VDMA will help promote technical
dialogue and joint pilot activities. It will also contribute to the
achievement of the goals and targets of the United Nations Millennium
Declaration and the promotion of economic and social development in developing
countries and countries with economies in transition."
The partnership between UNIDO and VDMA will focus on developing and
extending the skill-base necessary for the provision, acquisition and
effective deployment of technology and methodology in agribusiness value
chains, with particular emphasis on the establishment of operational and
capacity-building maintenance centres of excellence in Africa.
Such centres in selected locations in Africa will assist in developing a
culture of maintenance as a strategic prerequisite to industrialization and
the enabling of agricultural value chains. They will also provide maintenance
services for key categories of equipment used in agribusiness, including from
production to processing, transportation, warehousing, energy and irrigation.
They will operate as trade schools to train and certify people in the relevant
technical skills and in maintenance management.
"Without technology it will not be possible to supply the increasing
population with food and drink. This holds in particular true for Africa. The
contribution of VDMA to this partnership is providing technology and
state-of-the-art know-how of the machinery manufacturers in order to support
the centres of excellence for education, maintenance and repair of equipment,"
said VDMA Managing Director Richard Clemens.
"Our aim is to establish a widely recognized training in line with the
current technical practice. The leadership of German machinery manufacturers
in technology and service will ensure the high quality level of this centre of
Clemens added that he had already started looking into prospective
locations for the centres of excellence for maintenance and repairing of
equipment in Africa, and had visited personally or had sent VDMA officials to
Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. In June 2013, he led a group of senior
managers from 18 German manufacturing firms on a mission to Kenya. (end)
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