AFC has been working with GIZ since 2011 on the “Programme for the Promotion of Agriculture” (ProAgri) in Benin. We have been providing technical services at both the national, regional and grassroots level. At the national level we have been supporting the Ministry of Agriculture Environment and Fisheries (MAEF) with regards to mainstreaming the ValueLinks Value Chain Approach. This has included providing training on vale chain approaches, supporting the development of national agricultural value chain strategies for key products such as rice and shea, and developing the political framework in order to promote Public and Private Partnerships. At the regional level we have worked with the private sector in order to develop Public Private Partnerships, and to develop sustainable service provision for value chains.
At the grassroots level we have worked on improving farmers and processors technical capacity along the value chain by providing training and technical equipment. Due to the choice of value chains (soya, rice, cashew) we have particularly targeted women as they are major players in these value chains. We have, for example, trained 1.500 women on rice steaming and provided 250 rice steaming kits, 1.600 women have been trained on the transformation of soya into cheese, and 22 500 farmers (women and men) have been trained on cashew post-harvest techniques. We have not just focussed on production and processing techniques but also on business skills: 539 women cashew producers have thus been trained in Farmer Entrepreneur Schools (Bauern Unternehmer Schulung- BUS). We’ve also worked on strengthening farmer organisation groups by improving their organisational and management skills- again women have been particularly targeted during these activities.
We are proud that the ProAgri has recently been awarded the GIZ Gender Award for the Africa Department for its exhibition on “the female face of Agriculture”.
This exhibition presents the faces and personal stories of women from two shea processor groups we have supported in the commune of Kouandé. It also shares their experiences and hopes for the future.
This exhibition is a result of the excellent team work of the ProAgri team and demonstrates the excellent results which have been achieved all the way from the grassroots to the national level. This prize encourages us to continue our work in gender mainstreaming and supporting women farmers in order to achieve a common goal of gender equality.
Thank you very much to all those who helped with the exhibition, and in particular to the members of the two women processor groups in Kouandé!
For further details, please contact Ms Holly Hufnagel