In an increasingly urbanized environment, the need for greenery and flowers is being more and more felt for esthetic reasons and ecological benefits. In Togo, more than six hundred species of horticultural plants are identified and composed of approximately 59% of dicotyledons (49 families, 145 genera, and 315 species) and 37.37% of monocotyledons. Pteridophytes and gymnosperms account for less than 6%. The spectrum of morphological types indicates that herbs are account for 55%, while trees and shrubs represent 15%. More than 50% of the species of this flora is exotic horticulture. A species distribution is made according to their decorative parts and their place of use. Across the country, 55 plantings are recorded and unevenly distributed in cities. Apart from their ornamental purpose, ornamental plants are used for feeding, traditional and industrial cosmetics in psychotherapy, horticultural therapy, and in traditional and conventional medicine. In this study, 79 species from 39 families are reported as medicinal plants. The Apocynaceae and Fabaceae (six species), the Euphorbiaceae and Liliaceae (five species), the Arecaceae and Verbenaceae (four species) are the best represented families. Production systems in ornamental horticulture in Togo are very diverse in terms of speculation, access to land (variable surfaces, direct or indirect forms of tenure, acquisition methods, land use, etc.) and socio-economic profiles of farmers (men, women, young, old, people with little or no qualifications, rural to urban, etc.). The family horticultural production system, which represents over 90% of 55 horticultural farms of this study, is the main production system. It is characterized by areas of less than 0.1 hectare and farms in relative land insecurity (97% of land used belongs to the state). Throughout the system, there is a salaried labor representing 5–8% of turnover. Temporary and permanent employees are paid on weekends or at the end of the month. Farmers use gardening equipment and processing plant more or less modern including clippers, shears, pruners, and sprayers. Production units provide direct employment (more than 3 employees per unit) and directly to several hundred people. Horticulture in urban and peri-urban areas improves the living conditions of farmers (income) and the population (embellishment of streets, maintenance or creation of green area buffer) despite some negative externalities associated particularly with the use of prohibited pesticides and uncontrolled use of spaces along the roads. Its survival is threatened by many constraints, including the extension of urban housing and road building. In Togo, beneficial effects of ornamental horticulture may be more noticeable if the political authorities, private stakeholders, and the researchers work together to organize the sector. It could thus participate effectively in the formal economy and the emergence of true development plans at the municipal level.
Part of the book: Selected Studies in Biodiversity