Rural development and agriculture in Togo

Project description

Title: Rural development including agriculture in Togo
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: European Union (EU)
Country: Togo
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Development Planning and Cooperation
Overall term: 2013 to 2023

A worker slices pineapple for drying.

Context

Togo's economic growth has remained relatively stable in recent years, averaging five per cent. Nevertheless, many people are affected by unemployment or conditions of low pay. Although Togo's agricultural sector is poorly structured and underdeveloped, it contributes 40 per cent of the gross domestic product. However, rural areas in particular offer potential in processing agricultural products. Exports are dominated by primary goods such as cotton, coffee beans and cocoa beans.

To reduce poverty in rural areas, Togolese policies focus on the structural transformation of the economy. They aim to develop agricultural production chains with significant employment and export potential. Although public investment has helped increase food production in the past, efficient production systems, technical and organisational skills and innovative business models are still lacking. The market focus, food security and food quality all need to be improved significantly.

Objective

The economic and technical capacities of actors in selected agricultural value chains have improved.The target groups are better able to provide for themselves.

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Approach

The project is piloting improvements to individual value chains and is cofinanced by the EU. It is working closely with the Ministries of Agriculture and Industry, cooperatives and producer associations, as well as with processors and retailers.

It is hoped to reduce transaction and production costs by means of closer cooperation between smallholders, small and medium-sized processing enterprises and export companies, and at the same time to increase production in the processing plants. This approach would enable the smallholders in particular to generate sufficient income. In the long term, it will both create and safeguard jobs in the processing industry. 
The project supports production for the national and international market as well as for smallholder self-sufficiency. Together with banks, the project is developing financial services adapted to the circumstances of small-scale farming. It is also advising the Togolese Government on ways of improving the general conditions for agriculture overall. The project supports both investments within the country and exports in order to positively influence long-term economic growth.

Results

  • Self-organisation of the target groups has been strengthened first and foremost in the trade associations of the pineapple, coffee, cocoa, vegetable/spice and cashew production chains.
  • The project has supported the organisational development of more than 35,000 producers of vegetables/spice, coffee, cocoa and pineapple. 
  • More than 10,000 smallholders have been trained in improved agricultural practices and entrepreneurship. More than 83 per cent of the participants are demonstrably applying these new skills, as a result of which their income rose by an average 27 per cent in 2020. 
  • Close cooperation with the private sector and participation in international and regional trade fairs is giving producers access to international markets. 
  • Thanks to the promotion of processing enterprises and the creation of new jobs, 26,400 people are now employed in cashew production and 54,000 people in pineapple production. 
  • The project has established environmentally friendly production practices. For example, 95 per cent of the partner companies already apply production methods which are eco-friendly and adapted to climate change. This figure includes the recent addition of nearly 13,000 organic cocoa producers. 
  • More than 4,600 cashew, coffee/cocoa and pineapple producers have been trained in financial management. Eighty-seven employees of a national microfinance bank have been trained in agricultural risk assessment. In addition, more than 1,600 producers received loans between 2017 and 2020.

Last updated: June 2021

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