Economy of Togo

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The economy of Togo is refers to the economic activity of the West African nation of Togo.

Contents

Agriculture

Subsistence agriculture is the main economic activity in Togo; the majority of the population depends on subsistence agriculture. Food and cash crop production employs the majority of the labor force and contributes about 42% to the gross domestic product (GDP). Coffee and cocoa are traditionally the major cash crops for export, but cotton cultivation increased rapidly in the 1990s, with 173,000 metric tons produced in 1999.

After a disastrous harvest in 2001 (113,000 metric tons), production rebounded to 168,000 metric tons in 2002. Despite insufficient rainfall in some areas, the Togolese Government has achieved its goal of self-sufficiency in food crops — maize, cassava, yams, sorghum, pearl millet, and groundnut. Small and medium-sized farms produce most of the food crop; the average farm size is one to three hectares.

Commerce

Commerce is an important economic activity in Togo, and Lomé is an important regional trading center. Its port operates 24 hours a day, mainly transporting goods to the inland countries of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.

Lomé's "Grand Marché" is known for its entrepreneurial market women, who have a stronghold over many areas of trade, particularly in African cloth. In addition to textiles, Togo is an important center for re-export of alcohol, cigarettes, perfume, and used automobiles to neighboring countries. Recent years of political instability have, however, eroded Togo's position as a trading center.

Industry

In the industrial sector, phosphates are Togo's most important commodity, and the country has an estimated 60 million metric tons of phosphate reserves. From a high point of 2.7 million tons in 1997, production dropped to approximately 1.1 million tons in 2002. The fall in production is partly the result of the depletion of easily accessible deposits and the lack of funds for new investment. The formerly state-run company appears to have benefited from private management, which took over in 2001. Togo also has substantial limestone and marble deposits.

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