Germany funds agricultural, vocational projects in Benin and Togo

The agriculture sectors in the West African nations of Benin and Togo will receive a financial boost in 2016 from the European nation of Germany.

Benin will receive more than $22 million to fund projects at the Green Innovation Center in Cotonou, which is part of Germany's and the International Food Policy Research Institutes’ "A World Without Hunger" initiative.

In January, Gerd Müller, Germany's federal minister for economic cooperation and development, visited Benin and Togo to raise awareness about the partnership, expressing hope that the funding would not only advance Benin's and Togo's agricultural industry, but also be a step toward ending famine in the nations.

“The centers provide innovative technologies and extension services and thus help to increase smallholders’ incomes, create employment opportunities and improve the food situation in rural areas,” Müller said.

According to recent statistics from the World Bank, more than one-third of Benin's people and more than half of Togo's people live with poverty.

“You need more than just water and fertilizer for agriculture,” Müller said. “You also need knowledge and innovation. Advancing food security and providing job prospects in these two partner countries of German development cooperation are so important." 

In Togo, Germany has funded and launched a vocational training course for motorcycle mechanics.

"Togo is a young and vibrant country,” Müller said. “That is why the country needs more than modern technology and an enabling environment. More than anything else, it needs its people – qualified workers. Investing in good vocational training is an investment in Togo’s future. Togo is an anchor of stability in West Africa, and must remain so."

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