MONTREAL (Sep. 3)
President Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo met Thursday in Quebec City with Laurence Simon, president of the American Jewish World Service, to finalize plans with AJWS for assistance with the critical problem of grain storage in this West African nation, it was reported by the AJWS.
The meeting with Eyadema was the culmination of a series of meetings between Simon and Togolese officials including, Foreign Minister Yaovi Adodo and UN Ambassador Kwam Kauassi.
In those discussions, the AJWS said, Adodo emphasized his country’s numerous unsuccessful attempts at decreasing post-harvest grain losses which reach 40 percent in good years and in poor years can be as high as 60 percent. Simon travelled to Quebec City at Eyadema’s invitation, where the President was attending a meeting of Franco-phone nations.
At the meeting, it was agreed that AJWS’S work in Togo will commence by the end of this year with a review and analysis of grain storage problems. AJWS’s work in Togo will become part of its larger grain storage program which is testing new storage technologies for use in developing nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America, where losses as severe as those in Togo are common.
AJWS staff and Trustees, and Israeli grain storage experts, will participate in the review in conjunction with the Minister of Rural Development of Togo, the AJWS reported.
Togo recently joined the growing number of African nations to reestablish relations with Israel.
The centerpiece of the AJWS program is the testing of a revolutionary, low-cost plastic grain silo developed by the Volcani Center, Israel’s leading agricultural institute. Use of the Volcani silo in Israel’s Negev has reduced post-harvest grain losses to less than one-tenth of one percent. This is the lowest known loss for any type of grain storage system in use anywhere in the world.
The Volcani silo’s inventors consider the silo a reliable technology for semi-arid regions, like the Negev, and are confident that through testing it can be adapted for use in semi-tropical regions.
Eyadema expressed his country’s strong interest in becoming a test site for the Volcani silo, with the hope that Togo’s experience could be shared with other nations of West Africa.