New partnership in Togo

by Stephanie Mosengo (Parental leave)

The Andreas Hermes Akademie (AHA) as a training institution is currently active in five selected African countries as well as in India within the framework of the BMZ campaign "ONE WORLD - no hunger (SEWOH)"; it has been implementing the global project "Strengthening Farmers' Organisations" in these countries since 2015. The overarching goal here is to strengthen farmers' organisations in their professionalism and impact with regard to advocacy and service delivery to farmers.
Joint meeting with the CTOP organisation in Lomé
Joint meeting with the CTOP organisation in Lomé

Located on the Gulf of Guinea, the state of Togo borders the countries of Benin, Burkina Faso and Ghana. It has an estimated 7.1 million inhabitants and a total area roughly the size of Bavaria and Hesse. The organisations that the AHA was able to meet during its stay in Togo are as diverse as the five regions of the country. In several workshops, farmers associations and the AHA were able to get to know one another. Potential partner organisations also had opportunities to learn more about the AHA and its work.

We visited four national organisations of interest:

  • The umbrella organisation CTOP (Coordination Togolaise des Organisations Paysannes), based in the capital Lomé, is the most important agricultural organisation in the country with its 20 national member organisations. CTOP supports its members with advocacy, access to markets, as well as optimal marketing of local products. It operates in all five regions of the country and its high level of expertise makes it an important point of contact for the agricultural sector and its stakeholders in Togo.
  • MAPTO (Mouvement Alliance Paysanne du Togo) was founded 20 years ago on the initiative of farmers to represent, then as now, the interests of smallholders. Over the decades, the organisation has proven through numerous projects, e.g. in the fields of agro-ecology or supporting smallholders in improving important local value chains, that a great deal can be achieved sustainably through self-motivation despite occasional financial adversity.
  • The national youth organisation REJEPPAT (Réseau des Jeunes Producteurs et Professionnels Agricoles du Togo), consisting of five regional youth organisations, acts primarily as their “mouthpiece” at national level. It represents regional youth organisations and supports them especially in the areas of representation of interests and further education. Probably the most effective regional youth organisation is the one in the Centrale region, which has its headquarters in the centre of the country, in the city of Sokodé. REJEPPAT Centrale has had great success in recent years in establishing 10 training farms where young people can undertake short-term and long-term practical training and gain experience. The goal of REJEPPAT is to adapt the same successful methods to the other four regions in order to sustainably support young farmers in all regions.
  • The national women’s organisation RENAFAT (Réseau National des Femmes Agriculture du Togo) supports women throughout the whole country. It offers its members further training opportunities and promotes them, especially in the agribusiness field. In 2017, the organisation’s president received an award from the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) for her commitment, and today she continues to strive to provide the best possible support to nearly 13,000 individual female farmers and processors. Despite high potential, the organisation is struggling with financial bottlenecks as well as structural obstacles.
Joint meeting with the CTOP organisation in Lomé
Joint meeting with the CTOP organisation in Lomé

In conclusion, it can be said that the agricultural sector in Togo is structurally well-positioned and that successful cooperation is occurring both within as well as outside organisations. A final decision on which organisation the AHA will work with has not yet been made. This will emerge in the course of the next trip to Togo.

The Author

Stephanie Mosengo (Parental leave)

Programme Manager international