Gradually “Disappearing”: A Look at the Status of Area Harvested of Millet in Togo, Determinants and Policy Implications

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Boansi David

Abstract

As a traditional crop in many developing countries, millet, by virtue of its high nutritive qualities, longer shelf-life, tolerance to drought and provision of multiple security has served and continues to serve as a relevant crop for enhancing food security and reducing poverty in Togo (and other West African countries). Limited marketing opportunities however, amidst shifting dietary patterns, low priority of millet in research support, and policies favoring production of tradable commodities at the expense of non-tradable staples has led to a general stagnation in yields, and significant declines in acreage  and output of millet in Togo. Prompted by fear of a possible disappearance/extinction of millet from the country’s agrarian landscape in the near future (thereby posing future food insecurity and poverty threat), the current study (with the objective of analyzing trends in area harvested of millet in Togo and determinants thereof), through the use of standard and improved acreage response models (within the Nerlovian framework) sourced drawing stakeholder attention to current state of the millet sub-sector in Togo and making vital future policy prescriptions. Given extremely low coefficient of adaptation and high long-run estimates observed in this study, should current neglect of the millet subsector continue, there exists a greater chance of extinction of millet from Togo’s agrarian landscape. Efforts to prevent such extinction and to revitalize the sub-sector should place much emphasis on increasing both acreages and yields (through investing in high yielding varieties and in research and development in line with production and trade) of millet in the country, on ensuring increased supply of cheap labor (through minimization of rural-urban migration), and on further promoting current upland rice/millet mixed cropping systems in the unimodal rainfall zones (to ensure the sub-sector benefits from production incentives for the rice subsector). Pricing policy governing the millet sub-sector should as well be revised to help minimize the high long-run responsiveness of millet producers to price incentives for the maize and yam sub-sectors (as this significantly accounts for drift of millet producers to the maize and yam sub-sectors). In addition, producers and other stakeholders should be given enough incentives to appropriately invest in the millet subsector.

Keywords:
Food security, acreage response, adaptation, relative price ratios, trends

Article Details

How to Cite
David, B. (2015). Gradually “Disappearing”: A Look at the Status of Area Harvested of Millet in Togo, Determinants and Policy Implications. Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, 9(1), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.9734/AJAEES/2016/22603
Section
Original Research Article