Descent into the heart of a sector whose renaissance is still hopeful for producers. File directed by Agridigitale.
Problems faced by the sector and the solutions proposed by ICCC
The Office of the agricultural products of Togo (OPAT), structure of the State ensured the smooth running of the activities. The disengagement of the State since 1996 has led to the deliberation of the sector. Suddenly, the cocoa-coffee chain is driven by producers, buyers and exporters.
Since September 2014, with the actors in inter-professional organization, activities resumed above all with the support of a actors, including the ITRA, the UTCC, GIZ... but the cocoa-coffee chain is facing huge problems: the ageing of plants and the ageing of farmers. This situation brought the interprofessional Council of coffee and cocoa chain (CICC) to trade with the interprofessional Council of Cameroon to benefit from the experiences that could allow Togo to focus its sector. The fact is that nowadays, youth in the areas of production gave and the labor cause problem.
Plant material is also a headache for the producers. Seed fields are not sufficiently available. There is also the lack of funding initiative. We also need to fund the initiatives taken by the ICAC as the new generation project learned in Cameroon. Another thing, encourage the transformation.
When the price goes high, the actors are struggling to evacuate and when prices fall, the same problems return.
"As long as the price is fixed from the outside, the problem will continue. When you set a price that is not reasonable, it discourages producers, a price that does not even cover expenses of producers, there are difficulties,"tell some producers met in the plateau region.
Witness of beautiful and bad days of the cocoa coffee sector
Francis ATANAN, native of Badou testifies: "I grew up there and I attended the smooth running of the activities in the sector where they brought nurseries and subsidies on fertilizer to farmers. What made advanced activities in 82, 84 to 90 before the socio-political crisis comes to turn everything upside down. After that, I'm no more interested but all lately when I went there it's chaos".
"The market order the chain, in this sense that we followed the abandonment of the coffee cocoa plantations in the Dayes where I am born and what became the village, and where it is difficult to get producers to replant coffee and cocoa due to the fall in prices of agricultural products.
How to reassure producers relative to the market and to its sustainability? ", questioned the Scientific Director of the Togolese Institute of agricultural research (ITRA) during a panel at Lomé."
The workload analysis and evaluation to the technical unit of coffee-cocoa (UTCC), Madjoulba Batofetou.
Before 96, the OPAT was responsible for marketing and stabilization of prices and subsidies. After the liberalization, all organizations were dissolved.
The goal was to let the producer investing in their plantations by purchasing their products at high prices. Unfortunately, it was the opposite.
In 2008, the Ministry of agriculture held a workshop to evaluate the two streams. They realised that if nothing was done, the coffee-cocoa production will become a story. That is why the UTCC is created for the revival of the sector.
PNIASA through the PASA in 2013 operated a change to the level of the streams with the distribution of the plant material and the cocoa pods.
It is true that the two tracks come from far away and since their culture is sustainable, it will take enough time to see the results on the ground.
There is also a specific operation of the ASAP on the recycling of plantations which started in 2014.
It is a subsidy system whereby the producer pays the cash half of the cost of fertilizer.
We started with a goal of 1000 hectares of grant in 2014, and we are now at 2,000 hectares so that plantations can regain their productive potential.
The structure has difficulties to meet the needs at the level of the pods. Every year, the State buys 50,000 pods which are at the subsidized price of 40 F cfa, the pod.
We advise producers to set up plantations and wait for the improvement of the prices of the products. It is not the day where prices of products will rise that they will start installing their plantation.
In the end, the coffee-cocoa sector is undergoing a certain revitalization through the interprofession.
According to various analysts, the "new generation" project, which is in charge of youth for three years, the time that the plants reach maturity, will probably help boost the cocoa coffee production in Togo.