A very good opportunity to be seized by Togolese agro businessmen to increase the rate of mechanization which is currently around 2 to 3%.
"The state is no longer in the logic of the control and the management of agricultural equipment. It is up to the private sector to do it. For this, the government creates the conditions including the facilitation for producers to have credits to pay the benefits to operators who want to provide services," revealed Noël Koutera BATAKA, minister in charge of agriculture.
He said that this experience was very conclusive on the pilot sites of MIFA where several million CFA were paid to providers.
"This is a vast field of opportunity for people who want to develop agribusiness. With its limited resources in relation to the vastness of priorities and emergencies, the state opts for innovative and pragmatic solutions," he said.
A measure from far-distant reasons
Historically, Togo experienced its first agricultural mechanization in the early 1950s with the introduction of animal traction.
Salifou Daoudou, agro-economist engineer, head of the agricultural mechanization section at the ministry of agriculture recalls that the agricultural motorization started with the green revolution in 1977 launched by the late president, Eyadema Gnassingbe marked by the acquisition of more than 330 tractors, accessories and about thirty bulls.
He pointed out that very quickly, "the government’s initiative was confronted to difficulties related to the management method and in 1982, the State decided to resume with animal traction through the promotion of animal traction project (PROPTA)."
"Only Kara and Savannah regions have been conducive to the development of the animal traction," he said.
In 2006, 24 years later, thanks to the resumption of the cooperation, Togo benefited from a donation of 60 tractors plus a purchase of 100 from India.
"The 160 tractors engaged in 2008 in operators have experienced three management modes: governed with DP, OPs through lease and ZAAP The lessons learned from these initiatives led the State decide to release the equipment to the private sector, " he revealed.
Morocco and Ghana, two models of success!
In Africa, Morocco and Ghana are far away the two best countries who have achieved agricultural mechanization.
Yet in 70, Morocco undertook at the expense of the State, a vast campaign of soil removal. Morocco green plan followed, the establishment of a mechanism of acquisitions of equipment with the key to a 30% subsidy granted by the kingdom.
The suppliers of agricultural equipment are gathered within the Moroccan association of importers of agricultural equipment (AMINA). Ghana, for its part, has succeeded in mechanization thanks to the development of the blocks (stump); the exemption of farm equipment from taxes, the training of repairers.
Togo at the crossroads
The success of the policy of the mechanization of these two states remains above all, the stumping of soil. This is precisely why the ZAAP (planned agricultural development zones) were initiated in Togo today, with mixed results in some places.
The clear political will of the public authorities can help shift the lines. In order to promote agricultural value chains, the State intends to facilitate access to suitable equipment at a lower cost for sustainable agricultural mechanization.
Now, we know what to do: continue and accelerate the campaign of stumping; ensure the availability of spare parts, train and equip the repairing craftsmen etc.