US$ 13.5 million IFAD grant to boost cassava, maize and rice development in Togo

Rome, 22 December 2010 – A US$ 13.5 million grant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to the Republic of Togo will help improve food security and increase incomes for small-scale agricultural producers in the rural areas.

The Steering Committee of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) Trust Fund will transfer US$20 million to IFAD for purposes of co-financing the Support to Agricultural Development Projectect (PADAT).

The IFAD and GAFSP financing agreement for the PADAT was signed today in Rome by Kossi Messan Ewovor, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Togolese Republic, and Yukiko Omura, Vice-President of IFAD.

The PADAT will help to raise productivity of small-scale growers of three staple food crops: cassava, maize and rice; and enhance value-added/marketing of their outputs. With the support of the Government and other donors, the project will promote pro-poor rural economic growth. The project will facilitate the entry of food-insecure farmers into the market economy, by enhancing self-reliance among marginally commercial small farmers and by helping rural producers' organizations develop integrated value chains for the three main staple foods.

The PADAT coverage is nationwide, starting with the areas where farmers, women as well as men, are particularly vulnerable to poverty. The project will be implemented in phases in areas like Savannah, Kara, Maritime, Plateaux and Central regions where cassava, maize and rice are grown.
The project is expected to directly benefit some 107,500 small farmers. Approximately 75,000 of these direct beneficiaries will be reached through 3,000 producers' organizations. The total number of indirect beneficiaries will be 368,000.

With this new programme IFAD will have financed 6 projects in Togo with investments totalling US$75 million.

Press release No.: IFAD/82/2010

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested over US$12.5 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries, empowering more than 370 million people to break out of poverty. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the UN's food and agricultural hub. It is a unique partnership of 165 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Notes to Editors:

The project is consistent with both the poverty reduction strategy paper (DSRP-C) and the National Programme for Agricultural Investment and Food Security (PNIASA). It will establish strategic alliances with the West African Development Bank (BOAD), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), and the World Bank.

IFAD's support will focus on the development of agricultural crops produced by smallholders. Some innovative features are worth mentioning: (i) the project will be co-financed with others through a unified project coordination unit; (ii) village-based extension workers will be trained and will in turn train the producer groups; (iii) during the first year, starter kits will be supplied to the most vulnerable segments of the target group to facilitate their access to national markets, before the main project activities are in place.