Agriculture is Togo's chief economic activity, engaged in by about 65% of the workforce. The principal food crops are yams, cassava, corn, beans, rice, millet, and sorghum. The leading cash crops are cotton, coffee, and cocoa. Sheep, goats, hogs, and cattle are raised, and fishing is important. Large-scale mining of phosphate deposits at Akoumapé (in the southeast) began in 1963 and is now Togo's most important industry. Small quantities of chromite, bauxite, limestone, and iron ore are also mined, and marble is quarried. The country's other industries consist mainly of agricultural processing, handicrafts, and the manufacture of basic consumer goods. Attempts to implement economic reforms, begun in the late 20th cent. and including increasing privatization and foreign investment, have met with limited success.
A hydroelectric plant completed in 1988 on the Mono River was a collaborative effort between Togo and Benin. Togo's limited road and rail transportation facilities are concentrated in the central and southern parts of the country; Lomé is the main port. The cost of Togo's imports is usually much higher than its earnings from export sales. The main imports are machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, and petroleum products; the leading exports are cotton, phosphates, coffee, and cocoa. The principal trade partners are Ghana, Burkina Faso, France, and China.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.