The project’s progress is tangible, already counting 1,300 poultry houses and 500 sheep pens across the country, much to the delight of their new owners who are continuing to make investments to improve these new facilities. In its earliest phases, the project benefited more than 2,375 livestock producers, 585 of whom are women. These beneficiaries received kits containing construction materials such as bags of cement, rolls of galvanized sheet metal, and corrugated iron sheets as well as equipment such as feeders and troughs to improve the conditions of their livestock.
“The project has allowed me to expand my poultry houses and to better maintain and disinfect them. As a result, yield has greatly increased and animal health has improved allowing me to sell my livestock at virtually double the price. I am also able to better manage my finances,” says Bayi Koudjo, a livestock producer in the Agbélouvé canton in the Maritime region.
Prior to the project’s assistance, Wadja Napo, a livestock producer in Bitchabé canton in the Kara region, had trouble controlling her herd. “With this upgraded sheep pen, I can now contain my animals and count them each evening. Before the project, I had no option but to let them roam freely during the day because the sheep pen was too small. When evening came, I could not tell whether some animals in the herd were missing.”
Another crucial aspect of the project consists in raising awareness and providing training, both of which were conducted by the Institute for Technical Advice and Support (Institut de Conseil et d’Appui Technique or ICAT) and the international NGO Agronomists and Veterinarians without Borders. These initiatives targeted 209 agricultural advisers, 280 sheep and goat farmers, 111 of whom are women, and 2,095 poultry farmers, 474 of whom are women. Livestock producers were trained in the areas of animal care and animal health, the importance of vaccinations in preventing disease, and the construction of clean and spacious enclosures. As much as possible, these activities taught sustainable methods and the use of local resources and materials to ensure long lasting improvements.
In addition to improving animal enclosures and providing training, other important activities were carried out in an effort to lower poultry mortality rates from 80% to 40% and to cut small ruminant mortality in half.
Ayao Midekor, the operational coordinator for PASA, explains that “in addition to improving the zootechnical conditions for traditional livestock breeding, we are stressing two other critical factors: increasing the number of herds that possess animals with enhanced genetic potential, and improving animal health by controlling commonly occurring diseases through deworming and vaccination campaigns and monitoring of the product supply chain.”
Motivated by these early positive results, the project plans to ramp up its activities in order to assist over 12,500 livestock farmers in Togo, enabling them to reap the maximum benefit from their activities, increase animal production, and contribute to a more balanced nutrition for the population.