Promotion of Agricultural Value Chains - Component 2: Technical Assistance in the Implementation of Concepts for the Promotion of Value Chains

The programmes objective is to improve the performance of selected value chains and their competitiveness on national and international markets (rice, cashew, shea and soya). Whilst the first component of the ProAgri aims to improve the framework and policy conditions of the Agricultural Sector in Benin (macro level), the second component focuses on improving the value addition within the value chains at the local level (meso and micro level). The invervention covers 42 communes of the Atacora-Donga, Borgou-Alibori and Zou-Collines regions.

AFC implemented component 2 whose objective was to sustainably increase local value added within selected agricultural value chains. AFC was therefore responsible for supporting key actors within the different steps of the rice, soya, cashew and shea value chains (from input supply, to production, processing and marketing) in order to overcome the obstacles identified during the value chain analyses.

Services included:

  1.  Build the technical capacity of key value chain actors: Developed pedagogic material and organised technical training for producers and processors on innovative and improved methods of agricultural production, storage, processing and packaging. The technical training were conducted through the contracting and coaching of local service providers. Organised radio transmissions on innovative methods of production, storage, transformation and packaging for the four value chains.
  2. Advised on and develop models of service delivery and sustainable business models (vertical and horizontal integration) within selected value chains: Supported the development of sustainable service provision relationships with regards to advisory services, input supply and quality management; build the entrepreneurial capacity of value chain actors through Farmer Business School trainings and “BUS” (Bauern-Unternehmer-Schule- Enterpreneur Farmer Schools); strengthened the organisational skills of cooperatives through training on the OHADA law, cooperative principles, association approaches, and on the procedures of creating and managing a cooperative; advised actors and conduct training on sustainable commercial relations at both vertical and horizontal levels (for eg. contract farming, warrantage, group sales and input supply etc.); facilitated improved access to financing opportunities by putting various value chains actors in touch with micro-finance institutions.
  3. Managed a local subsidy fund which supported value chain promotion: co-managed the Regional Fund for Agricultural vulgarisation (FOREVA); co-financed the Regional Fund for Agricultural Vulgarisation (FOREVA) in the Atacora-Dona regsion, and supported the introduction of the FOREVA financing mechanism in the Borgou-Alibori and Zou-Collines regions. Evaluated and established lessons learned of the FOREVA, drafted a referential and guideline and management tools for the FOREVA. In total 114 projects were financed (of which 40% for the benefit of women), including for example the setting up of 6 shea processing units, and a cashew fruit juice processing unit.