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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rides in a unimog as he visits with farmers in Keri, Senegal, on Feb. 13, 2020.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is visiting a farm in Senegal’s “California” today, seeing first-hand the benefits of some Canadian aid funding.

The Niayes region is feeling the effects of climate change and coastal erosion.

Trudeau is on a farm in Keri, about 50 kilometres outside the capital of Dakar, to witness how $14-million in Canadian aid over the last 10 years helped stimulate vegetable production.

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The Program for Land Use and Economic Development of Niayes helped bring water pumps and solar panels.

Surrounded by sand dunes in every direction, the fields of cabbages, onions and tomatoes stand out as colourful patches of lush green against the dusty backdrop.

Trudeau says the initiative has helped bring wealth to a poverty-stricken area and helped make farms more resilient against climate change.

Trudeau was greeted by local politicians and residents, including children, who clamoured around him to shake his hand.

Earlier, Trudeau watched a demonstration by female Senegalese police officers who trained as UN peacekeepers. He also spoke at a university in Dakar and took questions from students about trade, climate and global security.

Trudeau is headed to Germany this afternoon, where he will attend the Munich Security Conference, an international event dubbed the security equivalent of the Davos World Economic Forum.

Trudeau addresses the conference Friday. Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne will meet with the Iranian foreign minister to discuss the investigation of the downing of a Ukrainian jetliner last month Fifty-seven Canadians were killed. Canada is growing weary of Iran’s reluctance to allow the plane’s black boxes to go to France to be analyzed. Champagne says the equipment to do so doesn’t exist in Iran and is not portable.

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