Tackling rural poverty by supporting small-scale farmers to grow their livelihoods and combat the effects of climate change
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, education 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 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, unable to produce enough to make a decent income.
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 and protect their environment.
In 2020, we launched the Agricultural Cooperative programme which aims to alleviate rural poverty by investing in and improving the livelihoods of small-scale farmers living in the Maritime region of Togo.
Working with local partners and the Togolese 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, and training opportunities, pool resources effectively and work collectively to achieve bigger goals.
We then provide the farmers with loans, to buy inputs, and fortnightly training to develop new skills, and increase their agricultural productivity and income-earning potential.
“It is said that together we can do great things. I encourage all farmers to be part of a cooperative because it is a way of helping each other to develop our activities. Learning how to use organic fertilisers is one of the things that we can learn being part of a cooperative. It is hard to do it but when you are in the group, you can have someone to help you.” – Ayivi, Main de Dieu Cooperative
The aim of the Agricultural Cooperatives Programme is to increase the income-earning potential of smallholder farmers and…
To create opportunities for small-scale farmers to pool together their resources, and have access to training in sustainable agricultural and cooperative management practices. This training will enable them to improve their yield and productivity and therefore increase their annual income.
To empower small-scale farmers with the knowledge to protect their land, forests and water, and help them to combat the effects of climate change and make sustainable, long-term positive change.
For cooperatives to have increased access to government resources, markets and wholesale rates, increasing the scale of their economies, giving them stronger buying power and reducing their costs.
To increase women’s economic and social empowerment through women’s rights training. This project will support women to take leadership roles, with at least 50% of cooperative positions occupied by women.
To create two more Farmer Field Schools giving farmers hands-on experience and training in ways to protect their land, forests and water, whilst learning modern, organic and sustainable, farming techniques, and improving productivity.
With the increasingly irregular rainfall and change in temperatures caused by climate change, small-scale farmers are battling flooding, failed crops and damage to their environment.
Since small-scale farmers rely on natural resources to sustain their livelihoods and well-being, they have a vital role to play in protecting the land around them.
Together, with our partner in Togo, we have created a Farmer Field School which promotes the adoption of sustainable land management practices.
The training gives smallholder farmers the knowledge to protect their land, forests and water, whilst improving their productivity and helping them to combat the effects of climate change and make sustainable, long-term positive change.