Establishment of Production Communities (GIC-Groupements d'Intérêts Communes) in Blitta
Collective Farming in Blitta Prefecture
The aim of the project with Sight Africa Familie is the establishment of agricultural production communities and the partially mechanised cultivation of collectively farmed fields.
On a total of 90 hectares, small farmers living on subsistence farming cultivate various crops collectively and partially mechanised. Both harvesting and selling are done collectively. The project takes care of mechanical ploughing, sowing and provides the seeds. In the long term, the project creates a basis for the more intensive, sustainable use of existing natural resources, supports regional economic development and contributes to reducing poverty and improving the living conditions of the population.
- Total Volume: 92.000 €
- Duration: 10 August 2021 to 30 June 2023
- Project Region: Tchaloudé Canton, Blitta Prefecture, Central Region of Togo
- Project Partner: Sight Africa Familie (SAF)
Financial support from the Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry (StMELF)
Togo's economy is still dominated by agriculture, with more than 70% of the active labour force in this sector. Although agricultural production has increased in recent years, yields in peasant farming and animal husbandry are still below 50% of the potential yield. Small farmers are particularly affected by this and live in abject poverty. Often, what is earned is barely enough for the farmers and their families of 6 to 7 people on average to provide for themselves. This also affects the population of our project region in the canton of Tchaloudé. Field work is done manually with hoes, mechanisation does not exist. There is no money for the use of mineral fertiliser, which leads to a rapid decline in yields after the bush areas have been fallow for several years. Added to this is the increasingly noticeable climate change with prolonged dry periods and increased heavy rainfall, which makes soil cultivation more difficult. This exhausting work therefore also forces the farmers to train their children to work in the fields from an early age. High school absenteeism is the result, as many children have to leave school early or are not sent to school at all.
In addition to these economic problems in the canton, there is insufficient health care, as the only health station in the canton is in the village of Tchaloudé. To reach this station on foot from the villages in case of emergencies is very difficult.
A comprehensive action plan for community development in the canton of Tchaloudé in the prefecture of Blitta addresses these challenges with various projects. The project Establishment of Production Communities (GIC-Groupements d'Intérêts Communes) is part of this action plan and contributes to community development, increased productivity and long-term economic and social development as well as poverty alleviation in Tchaloudé Canton with the following measures:
1. Establishment of Production Communities
Within the framework of this project, a total of six production communities, each consisting of 20 farmers, will be founded in six villages around Blitta in two phases, legalised with a general assembly and their own statutes. The project covers the villages of Kamboussa, Niki-Niki 1 and 2, Toule, Kaza-Copé and Touléwai.
2. Collective Development of Farmland
The communities develop 30 hectares of agricultural land in each village. The land provided by the villages is cleared and prepared for cultivation by mechanical ploughing. Together, yams, sesame, maize, soya and rice are cultivated. Two years of conventional cultivation techniques will be followed by ploughless land use and direct seeding, complemented by integrated animal husbandry with the aim of biodynamic land use and thus sustainable management of natural resources.
3. Harvest and Sale
The finished products are harvested by the production communities and stored in warehouses, built as part of the project, until they are sold. The proceeds from the sale and distribution of the products benefit the communities to continue the project. The aim is to create additional income for the farmers beyond subsistence farming.
To enable semi-mechanised cultivation, we work with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Basic Needs and the Canton of Tchaloudé, who support the communities in technical matters. In addition, the farmers are advised on the cultivation, harvesting and sale of the products. For this purpose, a meeting and training room for the six villages is also being built as part of the project.
The project is implemented by the URBIS Foundation together with the non-profit organisation "Sight Africa Familie" (SAF). It receives financial support from the Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry (StMELF).