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In the latest push, the Togolese government on 30 January convened donors in Kara, 420km north of the capital Lomé, to remind them of the “funds, technical assistance and materials” needed to launch agricultural changes, said Minister of Cooperation Gilbert Bawara. Donors represented included the World Bank, West African Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, European Union, UN Development Programme, French Development Agency and Islamic Bank of Development.
Donors have agreed to give Togo $57 million for agriculture in 2009, for fertilisers, research, training for farmers, creating producer associations and improving yields - with a focus on rice, according to Minister of Agriculture Messan Ewovor.
Rice grower Paul Ahianyo told IRIN his field, 45km northwest of Lomé, is cut off from the closest market and has no equipment. “We do not have any roads to transport our products [to market].”