WHERE WE WORK
Start Year: 1990
End Year: 1997
Country Program Director/Coordinator: Dr Marcel Galiba
History and Primary Activities:
The SG 2000 Togo program began in 1990, as a satellite operation of the Ghana Program. In 1991, it became a separate project, under the supervision of Dr Marcel Galiba, who also was responsible for Benin. Production Test Plots (PTPs) were the primary means of reaching and involving farmers. The SG 2000 Togo Program promoted improved technology in maize, cassava and rice. It also promoted the green manure crop, Mucuna, both to improve soil fertility and control the noxious weed speargrass (Imperata cinlindrica). SG 2000-Togo also worked on improving grain storage, and the development of village savings and loan associations. In maize, the quality protein maize (QPM) variety Obatanpa originally from Ghana was introduced and became the centerpiece of maize PTPs. QPM seed production thus became part of the SG 2000-Togo field program.
The Program began with ten selected farmers in each of the country’s five regions, the idea being to build gradually from a sustainable and successful base. From 1990 to 1997, farmers grew 5,000 PTPs in maize, cassava, rice and Mucuna. The post-harvest program involved training to minimize insect damage in the field and against stored-grain pests. As in Benin, rural savings and loan institutions (CREPs) were established, and became the centerpiece of SG 2000-Togo’s continuing activities in the country. Training was given to managers, board members, and credit and auditing committees.
The SG 2000 Togo Program did not receive the same level of financial support given to SG 2000-Benin or achieve the same level of impact. The government of Togo also had difficulties with the donor community related to national governance, which had led to suspension of official development assistance by several bilateral donors and the World Bank. Thus, the Ministry of Rural Development operated under serious financial constraints, which also affected the national extension service.
In October 1997, the SAA Board was leaning toward closing the project. However, an argument was made that a World Bank loan to support essential agricultural services (extension and research) was being finalized. Thus, the SAA financial support was seen as critical, if for nothing else as a bridging facility to keep at least a scaled-back field demonstration program going. This support was provided in early 1998 and helped to breathe life into the Ministry of Rural Development. The SAA Board agreed to a one- year extension of the Program. Unfortunately, the security situation in the country rapidly deteriorated, with several SG 2000 vehicles being stolen, and the SAA Board decided to terminate the Program.
The greatest production impact in food crops (maize and rice) occurred during the 1990- 97 period. Maize production increased from 285,000 to 452,000 tons. By the end of the Program, the QPM variety Obatanpa was being grown on 30,000 hectares. Most of the maize production increase came from expanding area, with the national average yield increasing only 10%. Rice production increased from 25,100 to 86,200 tons, with yields growing from 1.3 to over 2 t/ha. More than 10,000 farmers integrated Mucuna, a green manure and weed control legume, into their cropping systems by the end of the Program. About 450 farmers built drying cribs and silos for improved post-harvest storage. A total of 20 CREPs were formed; membership grew to 1,400 farmers and the accumulated capital grew to US$ 70,000 by the end of the Program.