TOGO – Togo has taken a significant step towards enhancing its rice sector by adopting the “Smart Valleys” system, a sustainable approach for managing rice-growing lowlands.

The “Smart Valleys” system is designed to retain rainwater in fields, reducing flood-induced fertilizer loss while increasing yields.

Recently, 120 farmers in Blitta were introduced to this system, supported by the West African Food System Resilience Program (FSRP).

The training provided to farmers included low-cost techniques for better water and space management in rice fields.

Additionally, they received essential equipment such as wheelbarrows, boots, ropes, cutters, decameters, and picks.

This initiative aligns with Togo’s ambitious goal of producing 1,115,087 tonnes of rice by 2030, as part of the country’s Updated 2020 National Rice Development Strategy (SNDR 2).

During a recent review meeting in Lomé, key stakeholders of the rice sector highlighted the Ministry of Agriculture’s support in providing inputs and technical advice, which helped boost production by 3.8% in 2021-2022.

According to the Ministry, paddy rice production reached 171.8 thousand tonnes in 2022, up from 165.5 thousand tonnes in 2021. The increase was driven primarily by lowland rice (55%) and rainfed rice (34%).

With the SNDR, Togo aims to achieve an output of 1,115,087 tonnes by 2030, a significant increase from the 145,489 tonnes produced in 2019.

This targeted volume is expected to meet the country’s demand and achieve food security. To reach this goal, the strategy focuses on improving rice productivity and quality throughout the value chain, reorganizing the sector’s structure, and bolstering governance.

The updated strategy, backed by the Coalition for Rice Development in Africa (CARD) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), requires financing of CFA87 billion.

Togo launches new soybean production campaign

In addition to advancements in rice production, Togo officially launched its 2024-2025 soybean production campaign last week in Guérin-Kouka, Dankpen prefecture.

The campaign, organized by the Interprofessional Council of the Soybean Sector (CIFS), was themed “Mechanization of soybean production, a factor in increased productivity.”

 CIFS head Komlan Kadzakadè emphasized the body’s commitment to overcoming previous challenges to further increase productivity.

To achieve this goal, steps are being taken to improve access to quality seeds, strengthen producers’ technical capabilities, and expand storage and processing infrastructure.

Alex Kpanté Bouab, Director of Entrepreneurship and Agricultural Financing at the Ministry of Agriculture, highlighted the importance of local soybean production and processing for job creation and wealth generation.

He noted that the soybean sector is a significant source of foreign currency and plays a crucial role in Togo’s food security and industrialization.

In 2023, Togo produced 260,000 tonnes of soybeans, a remarkable increase from less than 25,000 tonnes in 2015, making the country the European Union’s biggest soybean supplier.

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