GIEWS Country Brief: Togo 08-October-2020



  • Favourable production prospects for 2020 crops due to adequate cumulative rainfall amounts

  • Above‑average cereal production harvested in 2019

  • Cereal prices showed mixed trends in August, but were generally higher compared to year earlier

  • Food security affected by COVID‑19 containment measures

Favourable production prospects for 2020 crops due to adequate cumulative rainfall amounts

Harvesting operations of the 2020 main season maize crops were completed in August in the south, while they are still underway for rice, millet, maize and sorghum crops in the rest of the country. Abundant rains allowed a timely start of planting activities in February/March in the south and in May/June in the north. Planting of the 2020 minor season maize crop, to be harvested between December 2020 and January 2021, was completed in September. Precipitation amounts were above average in most areas since March, favouring crop germination, establishment and development as well as improving vegetation conditions (see ASI image). In addition, Government supported farmers by providing improved seeds, fertilizers, phytosanitary products as well as agricultural mechanization services through a zero interest credit system.

Flooding in northern districts of Dankpen, Bassar, Oti and Oti‑Sud in early September, coupled with the effects of restriction measures due to the COVID‑19 pandemic, had a negative impact on main season crops still to be harvested and curbed production prospects. In addition, localized Fall Army Worm (FAW) attacks in several areas of the country, the necrotic wilting of maize in Zio District and the aphrophores attacks on sorghum in the districts of Tandjouaré and Tône were reported. Overall, the 2020 cereal crop production is estimated at slightly above the five‑year average.

The pastoral situation has significantly improved since June and July in most pastoral areas of the country with adequate availability of pasture and water for animals. This helped improve livestock body conditions, enhancing the animal market value. The animal health situation is generally good and stable, with just some localized outbreaks of seasonal diseases, including Trypanosomiasis, Contagious Bovine Peripneumonia and African Swine Fever.

Above‑average cereal production harvested in 2019

Favourable rainfall across the country and adequate supply of inputs, including certified seeds by the Government and several NGOs, benefited the 2019 national cereal production, estimated at 1.3 million tonnes, about 7 percent above the five‑year average. The 2019 harvest included 923 000 tonnes of maize (10 percent above average) and 279 000 tonnes of sorghum (similar to the average level).

Despite the 2019 above‑average production, import requirements for the 2019/20 marketing year (November/October) are forecast at a slightly above‑average level of 280 000 tonnes as local traders are aiming to replenish their stocks.

Cereal prices showed mixed trends in August, but were generally higher compared to year earlier Despite the easing of the COVID‑19‑related restrictive measures in June, some markets are still operating at reduced level due to concerns about virus propagation. Prices of maize and local rice continued to generally increased in August following seasonal trends during the peak of the lean season, supported by a strong domestic demand and increased exports to Sahelian countries in recent months. By contrast, prices of imported rice, after being stable in June and July, showed declining trends in August due to the regular supply from the international markets.

Food security affected by COVID‑19 containment measures

Food security conditions are generally favourable in the country due to adequate food availability, the regular functioning of the markets and relative price stability. However, about 300 000 people (5 percent of the population) have been estimated to need food assistance during the lean season (June‑August 2020) as a consequence of the negative impact of COVID ‑ 19 containment measures on income‑generating activities. Due to the worrying increase in cases of new COVID‑19 infections, the Government has decided, as of 25 August 2020, to lockdown Sokodé, Tchamba and Adjengré cities, to introduce a curfew from 21:00 hours to 05:00 hours in Tchaoudjo, Tchamba and Sotouboua districts, and to extend the state of health emergency until March 2021 across the country. These measures are limiting the movement of the population, disrupting the households’ seasonal livelihood activities. In addition, the traditional cross‑border transhumance remains limited due to the movement restrictions in the country and the worsening security situation in neighbouring Burkina Faso.