Agricultural Cooperatives:Tackling rural poverty by supporting small-scale farmers to grow their livelihoods
In rural Togo, seven out of ten people live in poverty. Many families live in precarious situations – lacking access to basic services such as electricity, clean drinking water, healthcare and schooling.
Whilst rural families rely heavily on the income from agriculture to afford such basic services, small-scale farmers, particularly women, are largely undereducated and underfunded. Many lack access to financial services, such as credit, which prevents them from investing in essential inputs such as seeds, tools, land and labour. As a result, farmers work small plots of land using rudimentary tools and techniques.
Faced with the extra burden of coping with climate change and Covid-19, but without financial and technical support to do so, small-scale farmers in Togo are struggling to grow their livelihoods, protect their environment and to work their way out of poverty.
In 2020, we launched a new Agricultural Cooperative programme to invest in and improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers living in the Maritime region of Togo.
Working with local partners and government, we equip farmers with the skills and knowledge to form self-led cooperatives. Being part of a cooperative enables farmers to access state services, training opportunities and to pool resources effectively. We then provide the farmers with loans and fortnightly training to develop new skills, increase their agricultural productivity and income-earning potential.
Since nine out of ten rural families have no health protection and eight out of ten have no access to power, beneficiaries and their families are also provided access to our our healthcare insurance and clean energy programmes.
Seven out of ten people in rural Togo live in poverty. Many families live in precarious situations; lacking access to clean drinking water, electricity, health services and stable employment.
Whilst rural communities rely heavily on the income from small-scale agriculture to meet their basic needs, farmers, especially women, suffer from a lack of investment and support which restricts their ability to grow their livelihoods. Many farmers lack access to financial services, such as credit, which prevents them from being able to invest in essential inputs such as seeds, tools, labour and land.
As a result, many work small plots of land using rudimentary tools and techniques, unable to produce enough to make a decent income.
In 2020, we launched a new Agricultural Cooperative programme to invest in and improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers in the Maritime region of Togo.
This programme aims to alleviate rural poverty by helping farmers to grow their livelihoods together. Working with local government, we train farmers to form self-managed cooperatives. Being part of a cooperative, enables farmers to pool resources, work collectively and achieve bigger goals. We then provide the cooperatives with loans (to buy inputs) and fortnightly training to develop new skills, increase agricultural productivity and their income-earning potential.