The agreement was inked on September 25, in Lomé, by the Japanese Ambassador to Togo, Ikkatai Katsuya, and the Togolese Minister of Agriculture, Antoine Gbégbéni.
According to the executives, the rice, which will arrive in December from Japan, will be sold at “a reasonable cost” and returns from its sale will be pooled into a counterpart fund that will finance various socio-economic development projects in areas including agriculture and education.
Commending the project, Gbégbéni stated that the importance of this food aid from KR projects in the economic, social, and food life of Togo’s populations no longer needs to be demonstrated.
“That’s why, once again, we want to welcome the continuation of this food aid, and especially the strengthening of this program,” he noted.
Rice is one of the major food crops produced and consumed in Togo. Although it has the potential to produce more than it needs, Togo imports nearly 50 percent of domestic consumption.
Realizing its potential for increasing household income and food security, the government has been encouraging domestic production through various farm support programs.
However, the country has not achieved success in meeting demand coupled with the impacts of climate change on production.
In 2021, the Kennedy Round Food Assistance Project and the 2021 Economic and Social Development Project Japan donated to Togo a total amount of 500 million Yen (US$3.4M) to provide food for the vulnerable segments of the population.
In 2022, the two governments signed another agreement worth US$2.8 million to buy rice as well as help Togo cope with climate change’s impact on rice production, especially, with economic disruptions spurred by the Covid pandemic.
Besides, the Japanese added that the facility would also back the Togolese government in its efforts to ensure food and nutritional security for its population.
According to the country data, between 2008 and 2022, Togo benefited from thirteen KR projects, totaling around CFA20 billion for a total volume of 100,551 tonnes of cereals.
The Togolese official added that funds collected from Kennedy Round (KR) 2018, 2019, and 2020, will serve to accelerate agricultural mechanization in the country.