Empowering Farmers through Knowledge

Togo Takes a Bold Step by Temporarily Halting Frozen Imports

Togo’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has announced a temporary freeze on frozen poultry imports. This strategic decision aims to alleviate the challenges faced by local producers, specifically those organized under the Council of the Inter-professional Poultry Sector of Togo (CIFA). With over 70 tons of poultry meat idling in cold storage, Minister of Agriculture Antoine Lekpa Gbegbeni clarified that this pause intends to stimulate local production and consumption.

Addressing Local Challenges:

The temporary embargo on frozen poultry imports comes as a lifeline for Togolese poultry farmers grappling with the stagnation of their products in cold storage. Minister Gbegbeni, in a notice dated January 22, 2024, highlighted the government’s commitment to encouraging local production and consumption. The embargo will be lifted once the existing stock of locally-produced poultry is depleted, providing a crucial boost to local producers and enhancing their competitiveness against imported products.

Support for Small Farmers:

Small Togolese poultry farmers, facing stiff competition from imported goods, welcome this decisive action by the government. The temporary ban aims to level the playing field, allowing local producers to sell their products at more competitive prices and ultimately fortifying their position in the market.

Regional Perspective:

Togo’s move echoes similar challenges faced by its neighbor, Benin, where the market is flooded with imported eggs. The temporary ban not only serves as a relief for local producers but also aligns with the broader regional effort to empower domestic industries against external competition.

Promoting ‘Made in Togo’:

This strategic decision aligns seamlessly with the Togolese government’s broader agenda to develop the local poultry industry and promote “Made in Togo.” By prioritizing local production and consumption, Togo aims to create a sustainable environment for its poultry farmers, safeguarding their interests against external competition and fostering economic growth within the country.

Investment in Fisheries and Aquaculture:

In a parallel initiative, Togo is set to invest CFA2 billion in fishing and aquaculture this year, constituting nearly 70% of the CFA3.1 billion budget allocated to the Ministry of Maritime Economy. Part of this funding will support the Togo Aquaculture Development Project launched in 2022, while the rest will be directed towards projects aimed at enhancing the country’s fish production and providing employment opportunities for graduates of local aquaculture training centres.

Minister Tengue’s Vision:

Minister of Maritime Economy, Edem Tengue, underscored the challenges faced by the sector and emphasized the need for innovation. The exploration of new techniques, such as fish pooling systems, reflects Togo’s commitment to advancing its fishing and aquaculture industry. Currently employing over 20,000 people and contributing significantly to the country’s GDP, the fishing sector remains a key player in Togo’s economic landscape.

Togo’s decision to temporarily halt frozen poultry imports emerges as a beacon of hope for local poultry farmers, embodying the government’s commitment to economic sustainability and self-sufficiency. As Togo steers towards fostering “Made in Togo” excellence, the temporary embargo serves as a testament to the nation’s dedication to empowering its local industries and ensuring a thriving, competitive future for its farmers.