The EU will give EUR 1 billion to help poor farmers in non-member states, making good on a promise that had been threatened by institutional rivalry and the economic slowdown. EU budget officials and members of parliament reached an agreement late on Friday to make the payments over a three-year period. The funds are to help farmers in developing countries buy seeds and fertilizer to increase production. Anti-poverty campaigners said the agreement would help more than 900 million hungry and malnourished people around the world. However, they also expressed concern that some member states might fail to fulfill their obligations, or do so by simply redirecting other national aid funds.