The Togolese Coordination of Farmer Organizations and Agricultural Producers (CTOP) started an advocacy to contribute to the establishment of an environment enabling to promote agricultural entrepreneurship in Togo. It is worded « Adapting and completing the extension guide of the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of African Business Law) Uniform Act relative to the cooperative companies by integrating realities of FOs’ economic initiatives », this advocacy took place from February to December 2015. It has been done thanks to the financial support of the Support Project to Civil Society and National Reconciliation (PASCRENA) and technical support of the OHADA National Commission in Togo and is in a global framework aiming at improving the legal framework of the civil society organizations stemming from rural world.
The national extension guide of the 9th OHADA Uniform Act has been published and disseminated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Waters since 2001 and comprises a certain number of arrangements that are different from the SCOOP AU and makes difficult even blocks the registration of Farmer Organizations (FOs) mostly : diminishing the number of members to constitute cooperative companies, setting the social capital when subscribing, the provision of cooperatives’ reserves and members of the Board of Directors and Supervisory Board. Those above-mentioned points impede the transformation of farmer groups and most of FOs are in a situation of legal limbo and prevents them from conducting freely their economic activities. For instance without a legal status, FOs can’t get any credit nor sign any contracts with third parties etc.
To this end, an advocacy group has been set up that is made-up of two farmer leaders (Mrs. DAKEY Adzovi President of REPROMAT, Mr. YOSSO Hodabalo President of FNGPC) a CTOP technician (M. FIKOU Ougadja monitoring-evaluation and communication manager) and One representative of umbrella civil society organizations (Mrs. ESSO Ama Elise President of OSCAF-Togo) helped by a consultant (Mr. AKAKPO Mawuli AU SCOOP Expert). This advocacy group had as mission to be a contributory factor in the improvement of its arrangements by integrating economic activities at the grassroots level ;
many preparatory activities have been conducted in this way before the validation of the updated guide during a workshop organized on December, 08th 2015 within Hotel EDA OBA in Lomé ;
identification of difficulties and inputs of FOs and producers on the former extension guide and sharing of observations and points to improve mentioned by the advocacy group ;
Regional workshops to collect inputs and proposals coming from the grassroots level and other actors of the rural sector who are potential Allies in this advocacy process;
Organization of a workshop to draft advocacy arguments in order to start negotiating and making proposals;
Procedures for negotiations and proposals with line authorities;
Preparation of a new extension guide with the appreciable technical support of the OHADA national committee and organization of a small workshop with Allies for the pre-validation of the new extension guide.
This advocacy process led by CTOP has been successful with the adoption of the updated extension guide of AU SCOOP by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Waters and is being disseminated on the field to FOs and other actors of the rural world.
CTOP Communication Manager Assistant
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