Biotech Updates

Belgium to Provide USD 6 million to African Farmers

April 24, 2009

Resource-poor farmers from four African countries are set to receive USD 6.6 million in assistance funding from Belgium, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced. The Belgian Development Cooperation's financing for FAO's will support tens and thousands of struggling farmers in drought-stricken Niger, Ethiopia and Burindi and in war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

FAO has set aside nearly USD 3 million to aid cassava and sweet potato farmers whose livelihoods have suffered from the conflict in DRC. Cassava and sweet potato cuttings and vegetable and other crop seeds will be distributed to some 25,000 farmers. Small-scale maize growers from the region will also receive support to increase production in order to meet market demand.

A portion of the Belgian donation will assist farmers in drought-stricken Niger and Ethiopia. The rest of the funding will go to returning ex-soldiers and farming households hit by floods and high food prices in neighboring Burundi.

FAO's press release is available at