According to Joel Kwassi Mensah MLAPA VI, Chief of Togoville canton (Vo Prefecture), it is a wealth that continues to stimulate infatuation of tourists who often come to discover this ancient practice especially during the holidays.
Formerly, there was someone who gave the tone with a whistle. But now, as soon as arrived on the market place, women start simultaneously with normal trading.
But, the chief decided to regulate everything in order to keep this ancestral and symbolic value of the practice.
"Soon, we're going to intensify it, instead of once a week, as now, we'll do it twice a week, Wednesdays in the new market, and Saturdays in the old market for only two hours. And during this time, the person who holds currency will be almond," he clarifies to agridigital.
Barter as means of food supplying
Bartering is a matter of giving and receiving in a friendly atmosphere where everyone leaves with something coming from the other side.
It was barely 6 o'clock in the morning and women are waiting for the arrival of the canoe to cross the lake and go exchange their seafood or market garden products with farm products. There is also exchange of market garden products against seafood. It is according to the need of each one.
"Every Wednesday, I come here with my fried fish to stock up on maize, gari or tapioca without spending any money a part from transportation," said Odette coming from Kpeme.
On the spot, we see villagers (mostly farmers) with plates containing either corn, gari, tapioca or starch to go around their counterparts coming from the other side of the lake with fish, vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers ... The latter are sitting near their goods.
"What we earn by selling doesn't allow us to buy vegetables and fish to make sauce, but coming here every Wednesday, we are sure to go back with all these commodities in sufficient quantity to cover the whole week", says Agossi, resident of Koffi kope.
Restoration of the ancestral market
Closed two years ago for lack of space, the old market of Togoville resumed service on Saturday, October 27, 2018.
The fastest way to access this historic market is crossing the lake for about thirty kilometers south-east of Lome.
The tone of the resumption of activities was given by chief Joel Kwassi Mensah MLAPA VI in the presence of his notables and guests.
"Too much meat does not spoil the sauce. For some reasons, women expressed the wish to come back into the market handed down by their ancestors," said the king.
"So, we decided to reopen and it will come alive every Saturday while the new will continue to come alive every Wednesday," he continues.
A historic event that aroused the joy of people.
"Since the market was relocated, we have to travel long distances to make purchases while we were already accustomed to this market near our homes," say residents.
The particularity of Togoville's markets lies in the fact that in addition to ordinary selling, bartering is also carried out. That is, the exchange of goods.
From the canton chief of Togoville to women, it is unanimously admitted that barter does a lot of good in difficult times when money is scarce.
However, it is difficult for them to choose between these two modes of trade.