GIEWS Country Brief: Togo 02-August-2018

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  • Planting of cereal crops ongoing under favourable weather conditions

  • Cereal production in 2017 estimated at above-average level

  • Humanitarian assistance needed for vulnerable population

  • Small pockets of chronic food insecurity persist

Normal progress of 2018 cropping season

Following a timely onset of seasonal rains in the south, planting of maize and yams started in February/March and harvesting operations are expected to start in August. Rice, to be harvested from late October, was planted in May. Planting operations for millet and sorghum, also to be harvested from October, have just been completed. Weeding activities are normally taking place in most cropping areas.

Land preparation for the 2018 minor season maize crop is ongoing and planting activities are expected to start soon and will finalize in September. The crop will be harvested between December 2018 and January 2019.

Above-average harvest gathered in 2017

Despite localized outbreaks of Fall Armyworm, timely and adequate rains in 2017 resulted in an above-average cereal crop production of 1.4 million tonnes, almost 9 percent above last year and the five-year average. Production of maize, the main staple cereal, is estimated at about 925 000 tonnes, nearly 12 percent above the previous year’s level and 16 percent above the five-year average. On average, maize production fully addresses the needs of the population and in 2017 it exceeds existing demands by 10 percent.

On average, the country imports every year about 300 000 tonnes of cereals, mostly rice for human consumption. Following an above-average harvest, import requirements in 2018 are estimated to decrease.

Despite abundant cereal production, pockets of chronic food insecurity persist, mostly in north

According to the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), the economy grew at about 4.7 percent in 2017, driven mostly by agriculture (including agri-business as well as information and communication technology for agriculture). Although the growth is expected to slow down at 4.5 percent in 2018, it still remains strong due to large public investments, transport networks (new roads and an expanded port and airport), production of clinker and phosphate, and the sustained demand of domestic goods by neighboring Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Ghana. Although the food inflation year-on-year remains low, it is expected to increase to an average of 0.5 percent in 2018 up from a deflation of 0.8 percent in 2017, due to strong economic growth and increase in global oil prices.

Despite overall favourable food security conditions, acute food insecurity persists for some households whose stocks were early depleted during the lean season. According to the March 2018 “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 5 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance from March to May 2018, with a decrease from 9 000 food insecure people in October-December 2017. This number is expected to increase to 8 500 during the June to August 2018 period if no mitigation actions are taken. This caseload only represents a minor proportion of the total population of 5.5 million. The recent land conflicts in northern Ghana (June 2018) led to about 2 000 refugees arriving from Ghana to the district of Dankpen in Togo. This influx may contribute to increase the number of food insecure people in the country.

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