Have a Taste of Togo's Cassava Cake

Have a Taste of Togo's Cassava Cake

Have a Taste of Togo's Cassava Cake

By / Agriculture / Thursday, 19 July 2018 04:05

You are walking home just after 8PM. All around you there is darkness. You can’t use the small phone in your pocket to light your path because its battery is dead and for the entire day, you had nowhere to charge it. Such is the plight of seven out ten Togolese who have no access to electricity. One of them is Kossi, a twenty-three-year-old young man from the northern part of Togo. He is a cassava farmer. But he sees himself more as an aspiring deejay than a practicing farmer.

“Farming has zero money,” Kossi says, “when I become a deejay, I will have much more money and will have a lot more fun.”

For Kossi and many of the fifty percent of Togolese population who are also smallholder farmers, their farms are mostly means of survival and nothing more. It’s no wonder the World Bank says that almost three million Togolese are living in poverty.

Poverty should never exist where there is fertile land because soil is the ultimate ATM. But for soil to dispense those brand new, shiny bank notes, one must deposit into it the right seeds then till and nurture it in the right way.

In the case of Kossi, his cassava farm might just end up being cooler and more profitable than his deejaying prospects.  

As the Food and Agriculture Organization has previously argued, cassava flour can be used as a partial replacement for many bakery and pasta products. This would make Kossi make much more money because there would be more demand for his cassava.

For cassava in Togo and elsewhere in Africa to become the new wheat, there must be major policy incentives for cassava farmers and widespread cassava awareness campaigns. After all, most of Africa never used to even know widely consumed agricultural products like corn and cabbage. The colonialists and missionaries introduced this foodstuff and aggressively popularized them.

One of these green, flourishing cassava plants in Kossi’s farm has a plea for him, “just believe in me, show me some passion and I will show you the crispy bank notes.”

Author

DJ Bwakali

DJ Bwakali

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