Global Partnership Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building (test)

Plant breeding programs in Togo

Geographical situation of TogoLocated in the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, Togo enjoys an intertropical climate that varies from southern regions (with four seasons) to the northern regions (with two seasons). Agriculture and fishing constitute the most important sectors which supply jobs and incomes. About 70% of the active population depends on these sectors. The major food crops are cereals and tubers whereas the major export crops are coffee, cocoa and cotton.

The agricultural research started officially in Togo in 1940, date of the establishment of the regional arms of agricultural French research institutes. After independence, in 1960, most of these research activities have continued. Nowadays, ITRA is the main institute in charge of the agronomic research in Togo and carries out the majority of plant breeding and biotechnology activities in the country. Funding for plant breeding has come from the government, the loans of World Bank and from foreign financial partners and associations of producers.

Plant breeding activities in Togo consist in making crosses, assessing segregating populations, and fixed lines developed by national programmes or introduced from other international programmes of breeding. Togo is a member of several regional and international research networks and collaborates with research institutions, facilitating the exchange genetic material. The plant breeding budget is distributed among crops according to their economic importance. Thus, the activities of cotton breeding take about 1/3, followed by root and tuber crops, by coffee and cocoa, by rice, corn and sorghum respectively.

The most limiting aspects for the success of the crop breeding programmes in Togo is the insufficient number of breeders by crop due to the inability of the country to replace the retired breeders, the lack of adapted infrastructure and of a training and educational system. The lack of financial resources for field and laboratory experiments, and the lack of knowledge of the use of molecular selection techniques are also major constraints.

Research and education institutes with activities in plant breeding

Public Institutes


Agricultural Research Institute of Togo - Institut Togolais de Recherches Agronmiques (ITRA)
Website available in French

ITRA was created in 1997 within the framework of the National Support Program to Agricultural Services (PNASA). In charge of the agronomic research in Togo, ITRA includes four regional centres for agronomic research located in the four ecological zones of the country. Research activities are carried out through research programs in plant and animal production. In plant production the main programs concern breeding, biotechnology, protection, cropping systems and post harvest technology.

University of Lomé

College of Agronomy – École Supérieure d’Agronomie (ESA), Université de Lomé
Website available in French

L’Ecole Supérieure d’Agronomie a ouvert ses portes à la rentrée académique 1972-1973. L’ESA a pour mission de former les cadres privés et administratifs et précisément des ingénieurs agronomes, en vue d’un développement agricole harmonieux du pays. Les cadres formés sont des ingénieurs agronomes de conception, capables de s’installer comme entrepreneurs agricoles et de créer de l’emploi.

University of Lomé

Department of Botany of the Faculty of Sciences – Département de Botanique de la Faculté des Sciences, Université de Lomé
Website available in French

Information by Kossi Aboa and Kossi Kpemoua (2008) - Information based on the Togo's full report from the PBBC survey. Last revised 18-08-2009, GIPB