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UN-backed investment to help farmers in Togo

UN-EU initiative in Togo produces high returns

A United Nations-European Union initiative to help Togo cope with high food prices and bad weather by providing seeds, fertilizers and other input for 20,000 rural farmers has produced returns that are almost double the cost.

Under the scheme, the European Union (EU) channelled €2.5mn through FAO in 2009 to help more than 20,000 Togolese farmers most affected by floods and sharp increases in food prices in 2007 and 2008 to restart production.

Seeds and fertilizer

Two years on, FAO estimates at €4.7mn the total value of what they have produced – 9,634 tonnes of maize, 675 tonnes of rice, 85 tonnes of sorghum, 3,522 tonnes of tomatoes, 350 tonnes of onions and 85 tonnes of green chillis.

Rural Togolese were already suffering from malnutrition, exacerbated by demographic pressure and the collapse of cotton cultivation, a major cash crop. In 2006, almost 50 per cent of the population was underfed, according to figures from the UN World Food Programme.

Under the UN-EU initiative 15,000 farmers received seeds and fertilizer to grow staple crops such as maize, rice and sorghum, while 5,500 more received inputs for market gardening.