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Agou Nyogbo Farm - Togo

Kickoff date : November 2011

Objective(s) : 500 m2 and 900 kg of spirulina per year

Number of jobs created : 10

Budget : 83 000 €

Recipients : 3 000 children/year

Partner(s) : ECO-SPIRULINE

Location : Agou Nyogbo (120 km from Lomé)

Funding : SIKA, SCAC de l’Ambassade de France, SOGEA SATOM, Antenna

What we're achieving in 2014

  • We aim to reach the project’s annual production target of 900kg.
  • Vincent Guigon, our Technical Director, completed a field mission in February.
  • Our ambition is to increase the distribution network so as to get the following breakdown: 30% distribution for aid relief purposes (270kg), 37% social distribution (330kg) and 33 % commercial distribution (300kg)
  • We intend to secure the marketing authorisation (AMM) that will enable commercial distribution in pharmacies.
  • We plan to diversify spirulina-based products : pills, fruit juices, spirulina ice cream, spirulina fruit pastes etc.
  • We strive to reinforce the management of the farm considering the significant size it has reached.
  • We want to liven up the community and training centre in order to strengthen ties in the community, enhance people’s involvement, and ensure that the project becomes a best-practice leading to further similar projects.

1st semester 2014

350m² operational spirulina ponds (out of a total production area of 500m²) have produced 224kg of spirulina, that is to say the productivity rate has been 3.6g/m²/day. From March 2014 onwards, the farm has deliberately decreased production due to a lack of distribution and a slower sales process than initially anticipated. As the sales network in the neighbourhood set up by “Entrepreneurs du Monde” hasn’t proven strong lately, the sales have started to drop.

In May there was an official ceremony to mark the end of the building works. The director of ISSA, the District Head of Agou, the General Secretary of the Agou District, the Chief and Elders of the community of Nyogbo, as well as those heading public media in the Plateaux region attended the ceremony.

In February as planned, our Technical Director Vincent Guigon carried out a mission that lasted for 11 days. The farm produces effectively and regularly. Therefore close attention must be paid to distribution so as to avoid excessive stocks.

  • NGOs were thus contacted, alongside hospitals and the Togolese Red Cross, in order to increase the volume of distribution for both social and humanitarian purposes.
  • As for commercial distribution, a strategy has been outlined around 3 targets: the medical sector, high-end businesses (shops for expatriates, cosmetics shops, and fitness centres), as well as a shop in Lomé, which already supplies 4 to 5 resellers.
  • In the Lomé shop, besides the spirulina sold in small bottles, spirulina fruit juices, banana/spirulina ice cream and salads topped up with spirulina are also sold. These high- quality goods contribute to raising awareness about spirulina.

Our application for the AMM has been filed. Now we just have to wait…

Moreover, all topics have been mentioned and discussed: training, raising the team’s awareness regarding the quality of the produced spirulina, updating on the progress of phase 2 in the production and distribution project during the extension from 300m² to 500m².

Looking back on 2013

  • The assessment of the first phase (300m²) having been very satisfactory, a 500m² extension was set up in the first semester of 2013. The 500m² have been operational since September 2013.
  • The productivity of these 500m² is steady (60 to 70 kg/month). The total spirulina production amounts to 722kg for 2013.
  • Spirulina is distributed for humanitarian and social purposes in order to reduce malnutrition. It is sold via a sales network so as to ensure the viability of the farm. 550kg have been distributed over the course of the year and they can be broken down as follows :
    • 17 % was sent to the CENA (Study and Nutrition Centre of Nyogbo) and to various local organisations.

    • 56 % was sold at a social price in the districts of Lomé via a neighbourhood distribution network of 30 salespersons. The latter were trained and supervised by the NGO “Entrepreneurs du Monde” via its “Spirulina and Health” programme.

    • 27 % was sold either at the shop in Lomé or in Kpalimé and surrounding areas. Indeed, beginning of 2013, a store in Lomé opened with 2 staff, so as to sell spirulina in small bottles of 50 g each, as well as spirulina-based products (such as ice cream, fruit juices and salads)

  • Diane de Jouvencel, ATF’s Managing Director, went on a field mission in June 2013. She met with the two  local donors, who helped fund the expansion of the farm (SCA French Embassy and ISSA SOGEA SATOM). The aim was also to meet and establish contacts with local organisations and communication agencies.

Looking back on 2012
 

  • The building works started at the end of 2011. From April 2012 onwards, installations were operational : 3 circular ponds (100m²) were fully equipped and protected, a lab building was built, a well was drilled deep down and a complementary well was installed. A water tower was added, together with a dryer, which runs partly on solar energy, partly on coal. Water and electricity networks functioned well and the lab and harvest equipment was available.
  • Our Technical Director conducted 2 field missions in January and October. They allowed for training sessions with the local the team, follow-up and council of our partner regarding the building works and the management of the farm.
  • From April to December, production output reached 274kg despite a season of heavy rains that slightly affected the growth of the spirulina.
  • Distribution is both for social and commercial purposes :
    • Via the Nutrition Centre
    • Via the NGO « Entrepreneurs du Monde » that launched a spirulina distribution programme, called « Spirulina and Health » in the poorer districts of Lomé. The programme is partly funded by the Fondation « Le Marchand » Foundation.
    • via the commercial network led by the organisation « Vision féminine » in Lomé. 

CENA

A Study and Nutrition Centre (CENA) was set up in Agou Nyogbo, in order to