The first agricultural technologies and innovations park in Togo based in Davié (30 km north of Lomé) hosted this Thursday, October 12, 2023 an open day bringing together stakeholders in the agricultural value chain. Spread over two hectares and based at the Centre de recherche agronomique du Littoral (CRAL), this park of agricultural technologies and innovations was set up by the Togolese Institute for Agricultural Research (ITRA) with financial support from CORAF under the West Africa Food System Resilience Program (FSRP).

The goal of the park is to stimulate and encourage the adoption of innovative, up-to-date technologies to improve agricultural productivity, as well as food security and nutrition for communities. To be more precise, it aims to establish demonstration plots to significantly increase the adoption of advanced technologies and innovations from research.

“The genesis of this park stems from the observation that the work of agronomic research has difficulty in being disseminated to end-users. The question was therefore to develop strategies to make these innovations available to farmers in order to improve their production“, explains Dr AKATA ATCHOZOU Eyanawa, ITRA’s Scientific Director. “For example, people tend to think that rice can only be produced in the lowlands, but in this area we have demonstration sites with rice varieties that can be produced outside these zones“, insists Dr AKATA.

In this park, new varieties of rice, soybean, sorghum, sesame, etc., adapted to soil and climatic conditions are showcased in demonstration areas.

‘The park’s managers must now be able to disseminate the results of their research and the technologies available to make them accessible. To do this, we need to work with the private sector to increase the number of distribution areas for these new seed varieties, for example. This park is a unique opportunity for producers and all stakeholders in the agricultural value chain to update and improve their agricultural production.,’ says Dr Caroline SOBGUI, project coordinator at CORAF on the sidelines of the open day in Davié.

In addition, technological innovations manufactured by local craftsmen are on display, bringing together producers and suppliers of agricultural equipment. This center is much appreciated by the producers who had the opportunity to visit it during the open day.

“This park is going to help us a lot. The new varieties that are being developed are very encouraging for us. We didn’t know that rice could be produced outside the lowlands, but today we have the proof. It’s a big step forward for us producers“, shares Maglo Komlan Blewoussi, head of the seed producers.