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. This restricts their ability to grow their livelihoods and work their way out of poverty.
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 and labour.
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.