Inizializzazione in corso

Projects

We set out for Togo

project

JEUNES FILLES
POUR L'AGRO

TERRITORY

Togo is a strip of land?almost 57,000 square kilometres ? wedged between Burkina Faso to the North for just 126 km, Ghana to the west and Benin to the East. It is on the Gulf of Guinea.

FORM OF GOVERNEMENT

Presidential Republic

CAPITAL

Lomé.

POPOLAZIONE

6,145,000. it is 159th place among the 182 poorest countries in the world. 61.7% of the population is below the poverty line, rising to 90.6% (92.4% In raw Road areas) in the Savannah region.

ECONOMY

Agriculture, sea and lake fishing, stock breeding.

DATA SOURCE

UNDP (United Nations Development Program).

TRAINING

Training to improve technical abilities and improve the girl's literacy.

AGROINDUSTRIAL TRAINING

?The promotion of productivity that is efficient, hygienic and high quality.
The supply of machinery for transformation.macchinari per la trasformazione.

ACCESS TO MICROCREDIT

The creation of specific microcredit financial products suited to the activity, both for start-up and production expenses.

Training for the girls in how to access and manage financing to ensure that the benefits obtained will last.

ACCESS TO MARKET

?Creation of the ?Tomate du Togo? logo, to make the product recognizable and guarantee quality.

To provide in-depth knowledge of the market and entry into local groups that will help the girls sell throughout the country.

PROMOTION AND DIFFUSION OF BEST PRACTICES

The positive results will become an example of good practice and will be presented to national institutions.

Update
 

2012/2013

 

Today the "Jeune Filles pour l’Agro" project, after three years of hard work, has entered its final phase: access to the market. This phase is complex; one of the main reasons is that the business of products made in Togo has to be created from scratch, exploiting a potential area, still unknown in Togo, that would allow the positioning of products that are healthy, processed in the country and consumed at 0 km. To do this it has been indispensable to invest in the training of qualified personnel, able to structure a sales network and a communication strategy/promotional campaign for the products throughout the territory, starting from the sales areas closer to Dapaong. Awareness of the consumption of local high quality products will favour a realisation of the potential of the domestic market.

Another aspect of the project that has always been paramount is the personal and professional growth of the women who set up the cooperatives. Today these women have a well-defined working role, they have income, identity cards and social recognition.

Below are some of the results attained so far in 2013. It is clear that the performance of Tomatogo was not exceptional, because of poor climatic conditions and seasonal factors, the months when tomatoes are processed are from December to March. However, production was sufficient to meet market demands. On the other hand, the production of Fruitogo juices and nectars, designed to create economies of scale by keeping the pasteurisation plants active during the period when tomatoes were ripening, proved a success.

Read the news 2

2011/2012

 

Fondazione Milano per Expo 2015 strongly believes in this powerful project. Establishing a method which suitably guides future actions is as vital, complex and difficult as is West Africa, Togo, Savana Region itself.

Presenting an update on the project therefore becomes more of a fundamental act of method validation.

The Foundation pays special attention to certain themes: the application of well structured development models in harmony with the local context, the transparent management of resources and insertion of women into the workforce.

The Non Governmental Organization (NGO) MLFM"Movimento per la Lotta Contro la Fame nel Mondo" ("Movement for the Fight against World Hunger") – executor of the project, sharing our approach, became immediately involved in bilateral contracts, and in focus groups with local authorities and civil organizations in Togo.

Women benefiting from the project received both theoretical and practical training from an Italian agro-alimentary transformation expert, from management experts providing a deeper understanding of cooperation principles and values, as well as of administrative accounting systems and from a local expert on "gender issues".

Thanks to the efforts of all those involved, the tomato transformation program was initiated.

Some of the results achieved so far are presented below.

 

BENEFICIARIES OF THE PROJECT

250 women
» 5 cooperative agricole
» 55 membri delle cooperative agricole
» 600 members of the families
» 250 fruit producers
» 1500 users of the three mills
» 1 country of consumers of natural high quality products

AGRO-FOOD TRANSFORMATION

40.000 m² cultivated
» 1 seedling nursery
» 5 agricultural cooperatives created
» 4 transformation units installed
» 40 tons of tomatoes processed each month
» 5 tons of tomato concentrate

ACCESS TO MICROCREDIT

4 bank accounts opened

3 lines of credit granted to 3 cooperatives

100% of the credit paid back

MARKET ACCESS

2 ranges of 8 products launched on the market
(2 Tomatogo, 6 Fruitogo)

» More than 1700 sachets of tomato puré sold in the first month
» More than 5000 bottles of juice sold in the first month

Read the news 1
12
Accounts from field of Nadia Villa, voluntary in Togo

February 2013

February 2013 marks more than one year since the first experience of transformation and many things have changed since then. FruiTogo is a new line of products which has been created, and there is also some news concerning the concentrate TomaTogo. To reduce production costs and to improve product quality, machines have been modified, which has resulted in very positive results so far. The time needed to achieve the end product has been decreased, and consequently, fuel, electricity and water costs have also decreased. The end product does not contain any preservatives or colorants, and is now a beautiful intense red color, and is sweeter in flavor. The goal to place healthy quality products on the market has been achieved!!!

- Nadia Villa

Nadia Villa

Nadia Villa was born in Vimercate (MB) in 1983 and has a degree in social sciences for cooperation and development from Rome?s Sapienza University. She set off for Togo as a volunteer in the ?Jeunes Filles pour l?Agro? project in 2010 as part of the Gap Year Intern, programme, assisting the personal responsible for the project in monitoring and reporting. In 2011 she became project chief of ?Antenna Togo? for Punto Sud, would the job of coordinating monitoring and external evaluation of the initiatives financed by Fondazione Milano per Expo 2015

» Go to web site gapyear.it

September 2012

This is a period of great excitement for the project and also of great satisfaction.

In fact there?s some big news!!!

In recent months, to ensure economies of scale, production tests of fruit juice and nectars started.

The first, very important phase was studying the market to verify the availability of raw materials, possible suppliers, the availability of packaging (a problem you really mustn?t underestimate here in Togo); then came the first transformation tests with training for the women and finally the taste tests. Now the Dindann cooperative produces mango and pineapple nectars and ginger, hibiscus and tamarind juice, plus a delicious fruit cocktail, all under the ?FruiTogo? brand. In this way there?s an interaction between the brand and the local market. Now comes what is perhaps the biggest challenge: selling enough product to make production sustainable! Things have anyway got off to a good start, products are being sold and this encourages the women a lot, it gives them satisfaction and they work even harder in the cooperative.

Also, here in Togo the tomato production season is starting. The new Timanga cooperative has worked hard in recent months to build the nursery where the tomato seedlings will be cultivated. They?ve build the greenhouses, the water tanks, a warehouse and a room for the ?seeder? imported from Italy which makes their work easier and more efficient.

In short, the entrepreneurial spirit of the women in the cooperatives is increasingly evident, and this encourages us all to carry on.

- Nadia Villa

Nadia Villa

Nadia Villa was born in Vimercate (MB) in 1983 and has a degree in social sciences for cooperation and development from Rome?s Sapienza University. She set off for Togo as a volunteer in the ?Jeunes Filles pour l?Agro? project in 2010 as part of the Gap Year Intern, programme, assisting the personal responsible for the project in monitoring and reporting. In 2011 she became project chief of ?Antenna Togo? for Punto Sud, would the job of coordinating monitoring and external evaluation of the initiatives financed by Fondazione Milano per Expo 2015

» Go to web site gapyear.it

May 2012

Here in the savannah region the rainy season is on the way and the tomato season is drawing to an end. This has been the first experience for the cooperatives in transforming tomatoes and has seen the introduction of TomaTogo into the market. We are satisfied, the product appeals because it has an authentic taste, and it sells!!! The women in the cooperatives have also managed to make a small profit to use for themselves and their families.

The results are good, though some aspects need to be improved. However, it?s surprising to see how the women, though busy with the hard work of transformation, are showing real business verve. From next year they won?t be simply transformers of tomatoes but also producers, and this will allow them to have top quality raw material in the quantities and at the times needed to optimise production. Each first level cooperative has rented about a hectare of land where, with the support of the project, they are constructing wells that will allow a more rational use of water.

And so little by little the TomaTogo production chain is organising itself with the aim of becoming a veritable transformation industry, an example of sustainable development.

- Nadia Villa

Nadia Villa

Nadia Villa was born in Vimercate (MB) in 1983 and has a degree in social sciences for cooperation and development from Rome?s Sapienza University. She set off for Togo as a volunteer in the ?Jeunes Filles pour l?Agro? project in 2010 as part of the Gap Year Intern, programme, assisting the personal responsible for the project in monitoring and reporting. In 2011 she became project chief of ?Antenna Togo? for Punto Sud, would the job of coordinating monitoring and external evaluation of the initiatives financed by Fondazione Milano per Expo 2015

» Go to web site gapyear.it

February 2012

Dear diary,
what a thrill to be holding the mythical TomaTogo package!

Processing has been underway for more than a month by now, the first packages are already on the market and I must say the inhabitants of the savannah region gave TomaTogo a very warm welcome.

Work starts at seven in the morning in the villages when the best tomatoes are chosen, washed and scalded, after which they are mashed and the sauce produced is transferred into pans to be concentrated.

The women in the cooperatives have learnt surprisingly quickly to use the machinery and organise shifts. I must say I was impressed by their punctuality every day!!!

At fixed times a van passes through the villages to pick up the semi-concentrate and takes it to Dapaong, were a system of Italian machinery finishes the product to international HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) standards. The women in the cooperatives are good at selling, paid themselves present TomaTogo to the shopkeepers and initial sales have been very positive.

Thanks to the machinery with which the processing units in Dapaong are equipped, we can say that now in the savannah region there is a real food industry ? the first in Togo handling tomatoes and I must say it?s a big satisfaction!

Those who have already tasted the concentrate were very enthusiastic, the local population like the taste of TomaTogo and I certainly like it too, I use it to make lots of different sauces

- Nadia Villa

Nadia Villa

Nadia Villa was born in Vimercate (MB) in 1983 and has a degree in social sciences for cooperation and development from Rome?s Sapienza University. She set off for Togo as a volunteer in the ?Jeunes Filles pour l?Agro? project in 2010 as part of the Gap Year Intern, programme, assisting the personal responsible for the project in monitoring and reporting. In 2011 she became project chief of ?Antenna Togo? for Punto Sud, would the job of coordinating monitoring and external evaluation of the initiatives financed by Fondazione Milano per Expo 2015

» Go to web site gapyear.it

December 2011

Here in the savannah region we have been in the dry season for some time now and the golden landscape is illuminated with shining green patches: the tomato fields. The buildings for processing tomatoes are ready and the machinery imported from Italy has already been installed. The women in the cooperatives can?t wait to start work; this year four cooperatives will be working on processing, three of the first level, which in their villages will transform fresh tomatoes into semi-concentrate, and one, in Dapaong, the capital of the region, which will finish off the product, package it and sell it. Frome next year another four cooperatives will join in, so there will be more than a hundred women working in the production line in the savannah region. Everyone in Dapaong is waiting for "TomaTogo"concentrate. It?s the first experience of semi-industrial tomato processing in the entire country, and it?s happening in the poorest region at the hands of young women unable to read or write who have always been the most emarginated part of the population. The women will start being trained in December, and then production proper, for the market, will start in January.

It?s wonderful to see their efforts; they have a lot of faith in the project but also in themselves. Each cooperative has bought machinery and paid for half of the processing building with a loan from a local bank. There was a great little piece of satisfaction a few days ago seeing each woman with her identity card. To grant a loan the bank insisted on certain formalities, so an identity document was necessary. Here none of the women had even a birth certificate, but now they can say they are officially Togolese citizens! We can?t wait to taste the Togolese concentrate, perhaps with a touch of basil: I?m sure it will be delicious!

- Nadia Villa

Nadia Villa

Nadia Villa was born in Vimercate (MB) in 1983 and has a degree in social sciences for cooperation and development from Rome?s Sapienza University. She set off for Togo as a volunteer in the ?Jeunes Filles pour l?Agro? project in 2010 as part of the Gap Year Intern, programme, assisting the personal responsible for the project in monitoring and reporting. In 2011 she became project chief of ?Antenna Togo? for Punto Sud, would the job of coordinating monitoring and external evaluation of the initiatives financed by Fondazione Milano per Expo 2015

» Go to web site gapyear.it

The three year programme ?Jeunes Filles pour l?'Agro? has begun. It is a project for professional development in the food chain dedicated to young women in the Savannah region in the north of Togo. We believe that if women have their dignity restored they can play a key role in the cultural and social evolution of the country, in the way they bring up their children and influence the family and the community in which they live.

Togo: the situation we found

The Savannah region is the area of the country with the greatest development problems. Female education is a problem throughout Togo. Lack of schooling penalises girls, 65.6% of whom are unable to read or write, against 29.7% of boys.

A very large number of girls drop out of school because it?s easier to find a future working in the fields, marrying early and having a lot of children. In the Savannah region agriculture is the main activity and the cultivation of tomatoes has a significant role, but despite this
the organisation in the production chain is weak and insufficient. Tomatoes are produced from September to May and yields alternate, from excess production that drives prices down below cost to poor harvests that drive prices above what the public can afford.

There are groups of women that work in the production chain and also in rudimentary transformation processes (dried tomatoes and pulp production). But this happens without adequate professional training, in a disorganised way and with little attention to quality.
Tomatogo, a creative sustainability project
“Tomatogo” unveils a collection ispirata ispired by the Fondazione Milano for Expo 2015 projects. It aims to create a direct, dedicated channel of communication to trasmit values, identities and cultures througth art and creativity.