TOGO – Togo and the World Bank have joined forces in a groundbreaking collaboration to revolutionize and modernize the nation’s agricultural sector.
Filly Sissoko, the Bank’s resident representative, unveiled this transformative endeavor on November 13 in the Avé prefecture, situated around 50 km northwest of Lomé, the capital.
Highlighting the initiative’s scope, Sissoko emphasized its mid-to-long-term trajectory, spanning five to ten years and backed by substantial funding.
“The World Bank intends to allocate USD 100 million for the project, earmarked for the period between 2024 and 2030,” Sissoko revealed.
At its core, this ambitious venture aims to overhaul agriculture in Togo, focusing on critical facets such as water management, mechanization of farming practices, adoption of proven technologies, access to quality inputs, and the refinement of agricultural product processing.
During their visit to the Planned Agricultural Development Zone of Agnron (ZAAP) in the Avé prefecture, Sissoko and Marie-Chantal Uwanyiligira, World Bank Operations Director for Togo, affirmed their commitment to the government-backed project.
Expressing the institution’s objectives, Uwanyiligira outlined the World Bank’s aspiration to scale up the project significantly, envisioning a future where agriculture becomes a pivotal, productive sector within Togo.
The ZAAP in Agnron, spanning several hectares and engaging 80 farmers—comprising 60 women and 20 men—has already demonstrated promising results.
Since 2020, it has facilitated a remarkable surge in yields for its participants, catapulting from 600 kg/ha to an impressive 3 t/ha.
Despite major strides in Togo’s agriculture, persistent challenges hinder further growth. Factors like limited access to agricultural resources, low mechanization, hefty taxation, and insufficient public expenditure constrain sectoral progress.
Togo’s blueprint for agricultural modernization, captured in the National Agricultural Investment and Food and Nutrition Security Programme 2017–2026, aims to bolster external investment, foster job creation, elevate agricultural product standards, and enhance market access.
While foreign investment and participation hold promise for augmenting productivity and inclusive growth reads the report, a cautious approach is vital to mitigate adverse outcomes, including displacement of local farmers and a possible squeeze on domestic investment.
Striking a balance between attracting foreign investment and fortifying smallholder farmers’ capabilities is imperative.
“Togo must foster robust connections between foreign entities and local producers, harnessing strategic approaches to leverage foreign investment and modern practices while safeguarding the interests of its local agricultural community,” recommends the report published by odi.org.
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