Waiting for a political decision that would encourage hotels to serve local dishes, Yao Tata Ametoenyenou, Executive Director of the Food and Local Development Organization (OADEL) thinks that it is the result of several years of arduous work with the public authorities.
"If today, the Minister of Agriculture announces it in public, this supposes that there is a work that has been done and that the outlet of this decision is imminent. But at the same time, it should not be an announcement only", said Mr. Ametoenyinou.
For Ahossou Komlan, president of the Association of Young Inn Professionals of Togo (AJPHT) and promoter of Togo culinary value, it is up to the cooks to show their genius.
"The big part of the job is the cooks, the must give more value to our local products by trying to bring those things together and bring out something extraordinary to surprise the people. You can take peanuts to see what different dishes can be used to make a lot of things, and there is also Moringa that can be used to make salad, sauce, and coloring rice."
"It's a good idea that the government decides that hotels make local food a priority, especially for foreigners coming to our country, we are ready to follow up. Yet, most of our guests, when they arrive, they like to discover what we prepare locally and usually they prefer to eat the dough with vegetable sauces (ademe, gboma), foufou with peanut sauce, palm nut sauce (dekou dessi)...", testifies Antoine Sotodji, Manager of St Manick hotel based in Lome.
Are the conditions gathered?
According to specialists, the first objective of promoting local consumption is undoubtedly economic. "Whenever you buy imported products, you feed peasants from other countries while our own peasants are there suffering from market problems. Buying local products you offer to Togolese farmers, the possibility of having liquidity which will certainly be reinvested in the local economy", shows the head of OADEL.
Another factor no less negligible, an object of concern, are the local products made in Togo combining the assurances of quality required?
"Today everybody is saying that it is necessary to encourage local consumption and a political measure to accompany this would be welcome, but at the same time, I am afraid. I really want to eat locally, but then I want to be in good health, so beyond that, we need to set up a follow-up program that will give approval. Also, a degree of ethics that can reassure the consumer", explained Medissa Sama, business leader and mentor at YICLife.
The booklet of 50 recipes from Togo
To support the dynamics, a booklet of 50 recipes from Togo edited by OADEL paves the way for hotel actors on the various recipes to be submitted to customers to better sell the destination Togo as far as culinary is considered. There are several gourmet dishes that can be served on large tables.
These include salad made from yam, corn or Bambara groundnut (azikokui), terrine with tubers, palm wine sauce, nutmeg sauce, palm wine sauce, bean leaf sauce, moringa sauce, kom with sorghum, soy or sorghum bread, desserts made from fruits, tubers and cereals etc.
Obviously, the conditions are met to welcome the measure to impose a minimum of local products in the dishes offered by hotels and restaurants in Togo.
Up to the government to jump at the opportunity, and to go very quickly because each local dish sold, it is a farmer who rubs his hands. And it will be one of the beautiful ways to return to the peasants, their purchasing power.