Togo: Cotton Output Surges but Farmers Remain Unsatisfied

Wednesday, 05 June 2024 18:40
Togo: Cotton Output Surges but Farmers Remain Unsatisfied

(Togo First) - Togo's 2023/2024 cotton season has come to a close. Compared to the previous season, output and yield, respectively, stood at 67,718 tonnes and 844 kilograms per hectare, up 45%.

According to Olam, all regions of Togo saw their performance improve, generating gross revenues in a surplus of CFA20 billion. However, farmers are not pleased.

"We've been watching Olam for over three years, and right now, it doesn't give us the confidence to be with them moving forward," said Koussouwè Kouroufei, president of the Fédération Nationale des Groupements de Producteurs de Coton (FNGPC).

The organization regroups five regional Unions for 27 prefectural Unions with 3075 producer groups, totaling 153,000 cotton growers.

Kouroufei complained that compared with other countries such as Chad and Côte d'Ivoire, where Olam is said to have significantly increased yields, results in Togo are far from expectations, stagnating at between 600 and 700 kilograms per hectare.

He also complained about stagnant yields well below expectations, unexplained debt increase, and chronic delays in distributing essential inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides.

"And worse still, they hang debts on the federation every campaign, without us knowing where these debts come from," the FNGPC’s boss added.

Olam took over Togo’s Cotton Company, Nouvelle Société Cotonnière du Togo (NSCT), in 2020. Its arrival was expected to have led to output doubling but the Asian group failed to meet expectations. Except this year, the output has declined steadily since Olam came. 

"We, the farmers, that's our job and we've already started planting. Olam wasn't there, we were producing, so even if he leaves or stays, we're still going to produce. As head of the federation, we've already given instructions to our fellow growers to prepare the fields, and we're encouraging them to start sowing. The problems are there, but we reassure them that solutions will be found as they come," Koussouwè Kouroufei told Agridigitale.

Fiacre E. Kakpo

To contact us: c o n t a c t [@] t o g o f i r s t . c o m

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.