Togo Agriculture and Fishing Overview

Agriculture and fishing

The vast majority of Togolese work in agriculture, which is the country’s most important economic sector. The farmers are mainly engaged in cultivation for self-catering. Cotton is the most important export crop. Cocoa, peanuts and coffee are also grown for export.

  • CountryAAH: Comprehensive import regulations of Togo. Covers import prohibitions and special documentation requirements for a list of prohibited items.

Two out of three households in Togo receive their livelihood through agriculture. During the 2000s and 2010s, the sector’s productivity has increased, partly because more fertilizers are used. However, the size of the harvests varies greatly from year to year.

The most important base crops are cassava, jams, corn, millet, sorghum and rice. When not drought strikes the country, Togo is self-sufficient with many foods.

Falling cotton prices on the world market combined with mismanagement within the state cotton company led to many farmers switching to growing other crops during the 2000s. In 2008, the government replaced the poorly functioning state cotton company with a new company that is 60 percent owned by the state and otherwise belongs to individual producers. Production subsequently increased somewhat, but the development in the cotton sector is still dependent on prices and demand in the global market. For Togo defense and foreign policy, please check prozipcodes.

Fish is an important part of the diet in southern Togo. However, fishing is conducted on a modest scale and with simple methods, mainly for own use. Most fish are caught in the sea, but some are also taken from rivers, lakes and lagoons.

Animal husbandry is important for the people of the country’s northern, drier regions. Most meat is bought by the people of southern Togo.


Agriculture’s share of GDP

23.6 percent (2018)

Percentage of land used for agriculture

70.2 percent (2016)



“Barbaric oppression”

November 8

The opposition accuses the government of “barbaric repression” when 20 people are injured in regime-critical demonstrations in the cities of Sokode and Bafilo. According to the opposition, heavily armed soldiers prevent protesters from joining legal protests by shooting at them. A total of at least 16 people have been killed in protests against the government since August 2017, according to the AFP news agency. The protesters are turning to a proposed constitutional change that will allow President Gnassingbé to remain in office until 2030.


Oppositionists flee to Ghana

October 27th

UNHCR states that at least 500 Togolese have fled to neighboring Ghana from the regime’s attacks on the opposition in connection with recent protests. Since the end of August, hundreds of thousands of Togolese have demonstrated for President Faure Gnassingbé to relinquish power.

At least four dead in disturbances

October 18

Opposition groups defy a ban on demonstrations and at least four people are shot dead and dozens are injured in clashes between protesters and security forces in the country’s two largest cities Lomé and Sokodé. About 60 people are arrested. The opposition opposes a draft constitutional amendment that would allow President Gnassingbé to remain until 2030.

New protests against President Gnassingbé

October 4th

The opposition initiates a new phase of protests against the government. Protesters march through Lomé and protests are also held in the cities of Bafilo and Sokodé in the north where young oppositionists block the north-south highway. Jean-Pierre Fabre, leader of the largest ANC opposition party, says the opposition will not give up until the government agrees to a return to the 1992 constitution. Under the old constitution, the president could only be re-elected once. There are currently no restrictions, but in response to the opposition protests, the government has submitted a proposal to limit the number of terms to two. The opposition rejects the proposal because it does not apply retroactively and thus opens the way for President Gnassingbé, who has been in office since 2005, to be re-elected twice and in that case to be president until 2030.


Basic amendments are voted down

September 19

The government fails to get a draft amendment passed in Parliament because the opposition is boycotting the vote. An approval would have required a four-fifths majority, which would have required the opposition’s participation. According to the proposal, the president’s right to re-election was limited once, but the restriction would not apply retroactively, which would mean that Gnassingbé could be re-elected in both 2020 and 2025. The days after the vote, the opposition is organizing new mass demonstrations demanding President Gnassingbé’s departure. This time, too, violent clashes between protesters and security forces occur. One child loses life and up to 80 people are injured in unrest in the north.

Mass protests against Gnassingbé

September 6

Hundreds of thousands of Togolese demonstrates for two days demanding President Gnassingbé’s departure. The largest manifestations are held in Lomé but protests also occur elsewhere, even in northern Togo where public opinion usually stands on the government’s side. A total of 80 people are arrested by police, accused of taking violence or causing damage during the protests.


The police are firing sharply at protesters

August 19th

Several people are killed and 13 injured when security forces open fire on protesters in the city of Sokodé in central Togo. The government says that two people were killed and twelve soldiers injured while the opposition says there are seven deaths. The protesters protest the Gnassingbe family’s 50-year power holdings and demand that the number of terms for a president be limited to two. Faure Gnassingbé has been in power since 2005 when he succeeded his father, Gnassingbé Eyadema, who ruled the country for 38 years.


Religious purification after political violence

July 6

The government decides that religious ceremonies should be conducted to cleanse the country from its politically violent past. The decision concerns the country’s three dominant religions voodoo, Christianity and Islam. Togo has a history of political violence, the worst in the 2005 presidential election when hundreds of people were killed. No man has so far been held responsible for the mass killing at that time. The opposition alliance ANC urges its supporters not to participate in religious purification ceremonies as long as those responsible do not acknowledge their guilt and ask the people for forgiveness.


Students demand better conditions

June 20

Eight students are arrested in the capital Lomé after clashes with police in connection with a demonstration for better study conditions. The students demand, among other things, that new classrooms be built and that tuition fees be increased from the current level of about SEK 180 to SEK 300 a month.


Demonstration for media freedom

February 25th

Police fire tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters in Lomé who are protesting the closure of two private ether media earlier this month. The Togolese Human Rights Association says that the ban on broadcasting restricts media freedom. Amnesty International describes the closing order as “disproportionate”.

Ether media is closed

February 7

The privately owned TV channel La Chaine du Futur and also the private radio station City FM are closed by the state media authority, citing that they have violated the licensing rules. According to rumors that flourish, the closure may be due to the fact that the affected media is owned by a company linked to a former minister who has fallen out of favor with President Gnassingbé.

Togo Agriculture and Fishing