Agribusiness in Togo: Opportunities And Challenges

Togo: Generalities

With an area of ​​56,600 km2, Togo is a country in West Africa, and is located between Benin and Ghana which constitute its respective eastern and western limits; to the north it is limited by Burkina Faso and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean (“Geography of Togo” 1). Counting 8,095,498 souls according to the fifth General Population and Housing Census (RGPH-5) of 2022, Togo is one of the least developed countries and was placed, according to the annual report on human development, at 162 out of 189 countries in 2020 on the basis of human development, an improvement from 167 the year before according to the annual report on human development (UNDP 4). With the elevation in human development, the expected boost in agribusiness becomes a powerful driver for lasting economic growth.

Agriculture and agribusiness in Togo: Current situation and reforms

From the above generalities, it becomes interesting to talk about agribusiness in this country where, according to the Project to Support the Agricultural Financing Incentive Mechanism based on risk sharing, 75% of the population is under 35 years old. According to the same project, Togo’s economy is largely based on mining, particularly phosphate and agricultural products. As for the agricultural sector, it is a provider of 60% of jobs and contributes 41% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) thanks to exports of cash crops such as cocoa, peanuts and cotton (IFAD x). It is in this agricultural and economic context that it is also appropriate to talk about agribusiness. Agribusiness is a concept that should be understood as an economic concept that takes into account all of the operations involved in the manufacturing and distribution of products (Davis and Goldberg 7).

Due to its geographical location, Togo enjoys a tropical climate with soils, mostly tropical ferriginous, ferralitic and hydromorphic; cultivation techniques are mostly manual with difficulty accessing fertilizer hence resulting in low yields (Danklou 7). Aware of these challenges, the Togolese government has undertaken for several years various mechanisms to revive the agricultural sector to enable agricultural producers to better exploit the potential of exploitable spaces while participating as best as possible in the development of the country. As noted by (IFAD x), through the National Development Plan (PND) 2018-2022 adopted by the Togolese government, the mechanisms put in place to boost the agricultural sector are for the most part the organization of producers in order to better benefit from services such as inputs, finances, administrative services, storage infrastructure, etc.). In this perspective, finances remain crucial for the smooth running of this recovery strategy, hence the creation of the Incentive Mechanism for Agricultural Finance (MIFA) based on risk sharing which is, as explained by (IFAD xi): “A lever that should enable agriculture to contribute more to the inclusive growth of the economy and hence the increase in income of actors in the agricultural sector, particularly young people and women”. It is true to its objective that MIFA since its launch on July 5, 2019 in Togo, wants to: “develop and offer actors in organized and efficient agro-pastoral value chains sustainable access to markets and services, appropriate financial and non-financial” (IFAD xi). From this perspective, the creation of agricultural producer forums constitutes a platform for exchange and partnership between the producers themselves and an opening to the world; these platforms are also forums for training and learning, for strengthening the capacities of producers who need it to produce better. The creation of 130 Agricultural Development Zones Planned over the period of 2021-2022 for a total area of ​​12,608 ha, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development, was a breath of fresh air for the farmers to increase their operating space, and to be trained to produce better. According to the presidency of the Togolese Republic, over the period 2021-2022, the results of farmers in the Planned Agricultural Development Zones (ZAAP) are higher than those of producers outside ZAAP with an average difference of 36% (33.5% for sorghum, 77, 5% for corn, 18.25% for rice and 30% for soya (Innousa.moumouni 1).

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The mechanisms to revive the agricultural sector in Togo, which is an essential link in the Togolese economy, have undoubtedly contributed to the improvement of the business climate. In this perspective, it should be noted that cereal production for the 2022-2023 campaign amounts to 1,439,851 tonnes; as for the production of root and tuber plants, it amounts to 2,238,530 tonnes; legumes and oilseeds is 519,440 tonnes; cattle production increased from 424,527 in 2014 to 473,582 in 2019; fish production increased from 5,000 tonnes in 2011 to 6,300 tonnes in 2021; fish farming increased from 20 tonnes in 2011 to 1000 tonnes in 2021 (Togolese Republic 5). As for the processing of agricultural products, it increased from 7.6 % to 12.53% with an average of 11.92% over the period from 2000 to 2011 (Kpemoua 2). Although the processing of agricultural products is still low, the new infrastructures put in place such as the Adetikope Industrial Platform aim to increase the rate of valorization of agricultural products on site from 19% to 40% in the near future 2030 (Kuevi 3).

Among all the mechanisms put in place to improve agribusiness in Togo, the National Agricultural Investment and Food Security Program (PNIASA) covers the period 2017-2026 and its main objective is to contribute to economic growth and the reduction of poverty. Its deployment is carried out through several programs such as the Agricultural Sector Support Project (PASA), the Agricultural Development Support Project in Togo (PADAT), the Djagble Plain Rural Development Project (PDRD) and many others.

Challenges and opportunities for agribusiness in Togo

The satisfactory efforts of the government are to be encouraged for the progressive improvement of the agricultural sector which contributes fully to the national economy. This atmosphere is conducive to the business climate, especially in the agricultural sector, as evidenced by the different rankings discussed above. Current challenges are climate change, adaptation issues and the development of the value chain. This is why agribusiness in Togo is a promising and supervised sector encouraging investment in Togo.

Bibliographic references:

Danklou Dodji K., Agriculture of Togo, (license thesis), Higher Institute of Agriculture of Lille, 2006.

“Geography of Togo.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Apr. 2023, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Togo.

Innousa.moumouni. “Fopat : Cadre d’échanges et de Communion Entre Le Chef de l’état et Les Acteurs Agricoles.” Présidence de La République Togolaise, 8 Feb. 2023, presidence.gouv.tg/2023/01/15/fopat-cadre-dechanges-et-de-communion-entre-le-chef-de-letat-et-les-acteurs-agricoles/.

International Fond for Agricultural Developpement, Togolese Republic, Project to support the agricultural financing incentive mechanism based on risk sharing (ProMIFA). Detailed design report, 2018, https://webapps.ifad.org/members/lapse-of-time/docs/french/EB-2018-LOT-P-25-Document-de-conception.pdf.

Togolese Republic, Final results of RGPH-5 of November 2022, leaflet, Lomé, 2023.

Feuille de Route Pour La Transformation Du …, www.unfoodsystemshub.org/docs/unfoodsystemslibraries/national-pathways/togo/2023-07-22-fr-national-pathway-togo.pdf?sfvrsn=d5716b12_1. Accessed 6 Mar. 2024.

United Nations Development Program, Human Development Report 2021/2022, 2022, undp.org.

Feuille de Route Pour La Transformation Du …, www.unfoodsystemshub.org/docs/unfoodsystemslibraries/national-pathways/togo/2023-07-22-fr-national-pathway-togo.pdf?sfvrsn=d5716b12_1. Accessed 6 Mar. 2024.

Kpemoua Balakiyem, “Agricultural growth, local transformation of natural resources and industrialization in Togo”, Munich Personal RePEc Archive, 2016.

https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/77383/1/MPRA_paper_77383.pdf

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tchilabalo

ADJOUSSI Tchilabalo is a Doctor and philosophy specialist in ethics. Born on 02/01/1995 in Sokodé/Togo, he obtained his baccalaureate in 2012 in letters and philosophy at Chaminade College. he successively obtained his fundamental license and his research master's degree in philosophy in 2015 and 2018 in Togo. he is the author of some philosophical articles published on the internet.

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