"The visit was really a surprise for us because it was on Friday that we were informed about the presence of a ministerial and investors delegation to visit the plantation. They appreciated what we are doing and we are waiting for good things as soon as they go back," Yebo told agridigitale.
YEBO’s plantation covers four hectares and is divided into two parts, one that is already 17 years old and already produces cocoa and a new plantation that is just one year old.
"The first portion is a serving that produces well, the annual yield is around 1200 kg, and with it, we take care of the family and make other investments," he said.
According to the planter Eric YEBO, cocoa farmers face some difficulties. "Togolese cocoa tree suffers in its entirety, in particular, the problems of acquiring the phyto sanitary treatment products against the insects which hugely destroy the plantations. The treatment machines are extremely expensive and we wish the government could help us," hopes YEBO.
He recommends that Togo takes inspiration from other cocoa producing countries such as Ghana and Ivory Coast, where the best producers are awarded and benefit from agricultural machinery and various other possibilities. Eric points out the question of fertilizers used and which are not adapted to the soil.
"All the soils are not the same and in order to manufacture the fertilizer, it is through a study that we will be able to identify the formula that makes it possible to conclude the chemical substances adapted to the different soils. Cocoa is a specific crop and any fertilizer does not go for it. First of all, we have to study the soil and the specific formulas for these soils must be obtained before the fertilizer can be produced for the cocoa tree. Ivory Coast, Ghana and Cameroon have their own formula, which is a blow for us," he revealed.
Cocoa farmer is never jobless
Member of Etsonenyo (tomorrow will be better) cooperative composed of 28 members, YEBO is very active and ensures the well-being of members and says that the "cocoa farmer is never jobless."
"All the products of the cooperative are conveyed to a department store belonging to the cooperative, the goods are then transported to the Union of Cooperatives of Togo's Coffee and Cocoa Producers, and the Union in return sells them to the exporters," he explains.
"According to our calculations, nearly 30% of our productions go in the transport and that it is because of the bad state of our tracks," regrets the planter.
However, he hopes that with the visit of Minister BATAKA and all his delegation who were entitled to explanations on the production until the marketing of cocoa would probably be a beginning of solution for the whole sector in the region.
After YEBO's plantation, Mr BATAKA set out on other coffee plantations and exchanged with other actors in the region. The expectations of this visit are enormous and planters hope to see the first fallout very soon.