Pilot project on income generation for women through local dairy products

Project Overview



Project name


Project status


Duration of the project






CHF 625,210

Financed by
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC
  • Canton of Basel-Stadt
  • Communes of Küsnacht and Riehen
  • Swisslos lottery funds of the Cantons of Bern, Glarus, Grisons and Schaffhausen
  • City of Bern
  • Cities of Pully and Vevey
  • Corymbo Foundation
  • Nord-Süd Foundation
  • Gestion de l’Environnement et Valorisation des Produits Agropastoraux et Forestiers (GEVAPAF)


Project area





Background With an area of 8,470 km², the Savanes region in northern Togo is larger than the Swiss canton of Grisons. It is the region of the country where nomadic livestock farming is most important. Slightly more than half of the milk (approx. 55%) in the project area is marketed, the rest is consumed. Processing it into fresh cheese – so-called “wagashi” – is an important strategy to make the milk more durable and to generate added value. Milk processing is traditionally done by women. Wagashi producers have often not received any schooling or training. The sale of wagashi is the main activity and only source of income for the women wagashi producers and traders.

The dairy sector has only recently been supported by the government of Togo through the IFAD-Elevage Barkoissi vocational training institute. Young people and adults are trained in animal husbandry as well as the processing and marketing of milk. However, women have so far often been left out when it comes to projects along the dairy value chain.

This is where VSF-Suisse comes in: with our experience in the dairy sector we aim to promote and involve women in the value creation process.


The goal

Our main objective is to strengthen the livelihoods of 400 nomadic households through women empowerment and increased consumption of dairy products such as Wagashi in the villages of the project area. In addition, VSF-Suisse wants to help the women milk producers to improve their productivity. This is intended to meet the increasing demand for local milk and to reduce the bad reputation of nomadic livestock farming.

Specific objectives are as follows:

  1. The livelihoods of 400 pastoralist households engaged in the production or sale of Wagashi fresh cheese are strengthened.
  2. Food safety and availability have improved along the entire Wagashi value chain among the supported women in the project area.
  3. The productivity of dairy herds has improved in the target areas through sustainable solutions.


Approach VSF-Suisse has been active in Togo since 2002 and works along the animal value chain which contributes to the improvement of income and food security. The planned actions aim at addressing the main needs of the most vulnerable populations, using the following approaches:

  • Capacity building: milk hygiene training, cooperative management training, IGA development training
  • Market System Development (MSD): Access to collection and processing equipment, access to financing and access to markets.
  • One Health: monitoring of zoonotic diseases, control of the presence of antibiotic residues in milk, communication of data to the authorities (health and veterinary) and sensitization of breeders and processors.


Which of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals does this project work towards?


Other projects in the country

Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Be the first to hear news about VSF-Suisse activities, receive insight into projects, get country updates, interesting stories and much more... We are happy to have you!
This website uses cookies to ensure that you get the best experience.
This website uses cookies to ensure that you get the best experience.