Rural development and agriculture in Togo
Title: Rural development including agriculture in Togo
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministère de la planification du développement (MPD), Ministry of Planning and Development
Overall term: 2012 to 2020
Togo's economic growth has remained relatively stable in recent years, averaging five per cent. Nevertheless, many people are affected by unemployment and underemployment. Togo's agricultural economy is poorly developed. Hardly any agricultural products are processed in the country, and exports are dominated by primary goods such as cotton and cocoa beans.
In order to solve the problem of poverty in rural areas, the Togolese development policy relies on structural changes in the economy through the expansion of agricultural value chains with high employment and export potential (‘National Development Plan 2018 to 2022’). State-funded investments have increased food production. However, efficient sustainable production systems, technical and organisational skills and innovative business models are still lacking. Along with strengthening the market focus, it is also necessary to ensure food security and improve the actual food quality.
Actors in selected agricultural value chains (coffee and cocoa, pineapples as well as vegetables and spices) have more economic resources and greater technical capacity, and are more self-sufficient.
The project, which is co-financed by the EU, is working with the Ministries of Agriculture and Industry, with cooperatives and producer associations as well as with processors and retailers on an improvement model for the individual value chains. The approaches aim to reduce transaction and production costs, increase processing output and improve value chain integration through organisations of small farmers and small to medium-sized processing enterprises. This will offer small farmers in particular an opportunity to generate sufficient income and to create and safeguard jobs in processing in the long term. The project combines production for the domestic and international market with reliable self-sufficiency for small farmers. Together with financial services providers, the project is developing loans that are adapted to the circumstances of small-scale farming. By advising the Togolese Government on the creation of favourable framework conditions, the project supports both investments in the country and exports for sustainable economic growth.
In the prior project stages, the development in the selected value chains – cashew, coffee and cocoa as well as pineapple – has made good progress. The self-organisation of the actors in the value chains was strengthened above all in the coffee and cocoa and cashew sector associations. The project supported over 24,600 cashew, coffee, cocoa and pineapple growers in their organisational development. More than 6,000 subsistence farmers (self-sufficient farmers) were trained in methods improvement and entrepreneurship. As a result, over 60 per cent of the participants have increased their income, 41 per cent of them by even more than ten per cent. The producers have gained access to international markets thanks to the alliance with the private sector. Processing units were funded and new jobs created. Today 18,000 people are employed in cashew production, compared with 5,300 in 2012. In the pineapple sector, 60 per cent of companies already produce organically, and 3,800 people are now employed in pineapple production.
The project developed new loan products together with financial services providers,. It has trained 3,000 cashew and pineapple growers in financial management and provided further education to 53 bank employees about risk assessment in the agricultural sector. During the trial stage in 2017/2018, 640 producers already received loans.