Agriculture development in Benin: Insight of international cooperation

ccccThe agricultural development as I notice it today could not be at this level without the implication of international cooperation.

Even though the outcomes we expect for our agriculture are not totally tangible, it is important to shed light on the good effect international cooperation is having on our agriculture transformation.

These institutions and organizations intervene in human resources training, materials, equipments and technical assistance along the agricultural value chains. Some institutions emphasize on the value chains development and market access of produces.

I have identified organizations and institutions which works I would like to present so that any local organization or individual (entrepreneur) may contact them for any kind of collaboration.

The Netherlands cooperation

The Netherlands cooperation in Benin is focused on three sectors: water and sanitation; sexual, reproductive health and right ; food security. Gender, good governance and environment protection are transversal subjects that are integrated in the three target sectors. The Netherlands Embassy in Benin aims in the food security sector to improve food and nutritional security by the creation of an environment where the population will have access to food in quantity and quality. The Netherlands cooperation encourages the reinforcement of the market and the private sector in order to the improve business partnership between Netherlands and Benin. Agro Business Center, AgriProfocus and ACMA, (Approche communal pour le Marché Agricole), 2SCALE coordinated by IFDC are some of the major programs of the Dutch cooperation. SNV (Netherlands Development Organization), PUM (Netherlands Senior Experts) and Royal KIT (Tropical Institute) are also some Netherlands institutions playing significant roles in agricultural development of Benin.

With the support of Food and Business Knowledge Platform (FBKP), I had conducted a study on social entrepreneurs engaged in food security in Benin.  Here is the final report of this study (25,7Mo). The FBKP strategic goals include : Improve relevance and efficient use of Dutch, local and international knowledge and research capacity ; Strengthen food and nutrition security policies and programs in the Netherlands and abroad ; Facilitate knowledge and research that are suitable for Dutch and local entrepreneurs and increase investments and collaboration from the Dutch private sector in low- and middle-income countries.

The Belgium cooperation

Belgium cooperation in Benin is based on two sectors: agriculture and health. In the agriculture sector, the Belgium cooperation intervenes in sustainable agriculture, food security, good governance and management of natural resources. Through these items, the Belgium Technical Cooperation aims to improve the agriculture development to ensure sustainable food and nutritional sovereignty and to contribute to the country’s economic and social development. Its interventions target and are not limited to the promotion of the cashew nut, rice and market gardening value chains, the professionalization of family farms and the achievement of structural investments in communes. ASPS (Amélioration de la qualité sanitaire et phytosanitaire des produits agricoles et agro-alimentaires), PROFI (Programme d’appui au développement des filières agricoles) and AMSANA (Appui Multisectoriel pour la Sécurité Alimentaire et Nutritionnelle dans l’Atacora) are some of their programmes and projects. The Belgium cooperation has been playing an important role in the human resources training and the quality management system of produce through the support of a quality management agency and the only one laboratory accredited ISO 19025 (2005).

The Deutsche Cooperation

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) focuses its work on three priority areas: decentralization and municipal development (good governance); agriculture and adaptation to climate change ; rural/urban water supply and sanitation, and integrated management of water resources. In the sector of agriculture and adaptation to climate change, Promotion of agriculture in Benin (ProAgri) ; Adapting agriculture to climate change (PACC) ; Food and nutrition security, enhanced resilience ; African Cashew initiative (ACi),  ProSME-SA (Projet de Promotion des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises dans le secteur Agroalimentaire) are some of the major programs of GIZ in Benin.

The Switzerland cooperation

The Switzerland cooperation in Benin focuses on three domains that are rural economic development, education and professional training, local governance/decentralization. The target of the rural economic development is to develop a dynamic rural economy, that creates employments and increase revenue for producers through the production and commercialization of some agricultural value chains in Benin. ESTB (Programme entreprendre solidaire avec son territoire), PAFPAA (Programme d’appui à la formation professionnelle agricole et artisane), and PDIEM (Programme de développement des infrastructures économiques et marchandes au Bénin). HELVETAS and SWISSCONTACT are some of the Switzerland cooperation institutions.

Technical Center of Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)

CTA is an international institution of the group of ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) states and the European Union. CTA intervenes in Benin especially in information access and youth entrepreneurship promotion, agrihubs, agriculture start-up thanks to ICT4AG program and other CTA programs. Some others key supports of CTA are human resources training especially in E-agriculture and social reporting activities. CTA has been playing a valuable role in technical knowledge sharing through its online library from which some interesting books are available. Here is a  CTA new guide, An ICT Agripreneurship Guide (1,22 Mo). It is also established online communities of young agricultural professional both in french and english languages.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

FAO is the United Nations System specialized institution in the sectors of agriculture, forests, fishery and rural development. This organization focuses on the rural development promotion, sustainable agriculture, and long term strategies for food production and food security combined with natural resources preservation and management. Three global priorities of the organization in Benin are the reinforcement of food and nutritional security, sustainable management of natural resources, efficient institutional framework and capacity reinforcement of players of the sectors. The major projects are based on, but are not limited to, integrated rural development, agriculture diversification, development of breeding systems, decentralization warehousing systems, craft fishery, promotion of private irrigation systems, and rural craft industries and researches. Some of these projects are TCP/BEN/3503 (Appui à la professionnalisation de la filière d’élevage cunicole au sud-Bénin), GCP/BEN/056 (Elimination des POPs et pesticides obsolètes, renforcement de la gestion du cycle de vie des pesticides), GCP/RAF/448/EC (Renforcement des relations commerciales entre les petits acteurs et les acheteurs dans la filière des racines et tubercules en Afrique) and GCP/INT/161 (Renforcement des statistiques agricoles et informations sur la sécurité alimentaire dans les pays CARD : Coalition for African Rice Development). Some other projects can be checked here.

African Development Bank (ADB)

The ADB has an entire plan for the transformation of African agriculture. Some projects and initiatives are designed by the bank to impact African agriculture and feed Africa (10,4 Mo). Some projects are financed in Benin, among them, there are PAIA-VO (Projet d’Appui aux infrastructures agricoles dans la Vallée de l’Ouémé), Multinational NERICA rice distribution project and Integrated Fight Against Aquatic Plant Proliferation in West Africa.

The World Bank

The World Bank intervention in Benin focuses on governance and public sector capacity; sustainable growth, competitiveness and employment; and access to basic social services and social inclusion. In the sector of agriculture and nutrition the World Bank has been financing programs and projects in Benin. Some of these projects are, but not limited to, Agricultural Productivity and Diversification Additional Financing, Benin Multisectoral Food Health Nutrition Project, Benin Statistical Capacity Building, Agricultural Productivity and Diversification, Competitiveness and Integrated Growth Opportunity Project (CIGOP). All the World Bank projects and programs financed in Benin are listed here.

I would like to add three other organizations playing key roles in youth agricultural entrepreneurship, researches and E-Agribusiness . These organizations are YPARD (Young Professional for Agricultural Development), CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) and IITA (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture).

All these institutions and some other are supporting agricultural sector in Benin through projects, programs and initiatives that are boosting the agriculture development. In a recent study I have conducted, I notice that although so many organizations are operating in the field, they are numerous players, especially young people, that seem to be forgotten. The implementation of the following project may reduce this gap.

Mapping Support of International Organization Project

It is a project which will present the support of international organizations toward agricultural players in Benin. The target of the project is to identify players and areas that are more in need of technical financial and organizational supports in order to assure a good distribution of international organizations supports in Benin. The organizations that are interested in this project can contact me for its implementation.

 

Louis Agbokou,

Consultant.

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