Creating an agricultural entrepreneurship strategy for youth in Benin

Project

KIT is providing technical assistance to Phase 2 of the Communal Approach for the Agricultural Market (ACMA) project. Together with consortium partners, our work includes monitoring and evaluation, developing and implementing the project’s youth strategy and advising on the strategic direction of ACMA 2.

Improving agricultural performance in Benin

Building on the achievements of the project’s first phase (2013-2017), ACMA2 aims to improve the food and nutritional security of rural populations (40 % women and 20 % youth) in four departments (Collines, Ouéme, Plateau and Zou) in Benin. The core objective is to increase the agricultural incomes of economic actors (producers, processors and sales persons) at the local level through:

  • Increasing trade in seven agricultural products (fish, cassava by-products, palm oil, chilli, maize, peanut, soya).
  • Improving agricultural productivity.
  • Reducing trade barriers for agricultural products within Benin and with neighboring countries, particularly Nigeria.

A holistic approach to boosting agricultural performance

The project’s implementation strategy is based on five integrated activity areas: 1) access to inputs and agricultural innovations, 2) market access and professionalization, 3) agricultural finance access, 4) ICT for agriculture, and 5) public-private partnerships. Gender and youth integration are cross-cutting issues throughout the project.

Access to Inputs and Agricultural Innovations

  • Support the better-organised supply of quality inputs (seeds, fertilizers etc.) for producers
  • Facilitate access to information about technical and economic aspects of innovative agricultural practices such as certified inputs, conservation, processing.  
  • Support agribusiness cluster (ABC) stakeholders to manage production and marketing costs. ABCs are networks organised along agricultural value chains to enforce connections and exchanges between stakeholders of the same value chain.

Market Access and Professionalisation

  • Support mobilisation and management to supply competitive products
  • Facilitate the diversification and formalisation of commercial relations
  • Facilitate transport logistics for marketing
  • Provide entrepreneurial training and business coaching to young micro entrepreneurs.

Access to Agricultural Finance

  • Facilitate establishment of input-marketing credits, deposit-guarantee credits and working capital loans
  • Inform and train economic actors and their organisations about savings, credit management and the development of bankable business plans
  • Facilitate, in collaboration with financial institutions, banks and GSM operators, the introduction of innovative financial products based on ICT for agriculture.

ICT for Agriculture

  • Strengthen market information systems with key data exchanges on product prices, products available in different markets, and it connect buyers to sellers
  • Provide a distribution channel for training and information sharing on technical topics
  • Facilitate access to digital finance
  • Develop and implement an ICT component specifically for youth

Activity area 5: Private Public Partnerships

  • Support the establishment and empowerment of consultative frameworks;
  • Facilitate advocacy to improve the local business climate;
  • Facilitate financing and public-private management of commercial infrastructure.

Anticipated Results

  • 70 agribusiness clusters (ABCs) created and supported
  • 60,000 economic actors participating in ABCs (40 % women and 20 % youth)
  • 20% increase in the revenues of the ABC actors supported
  • Eight billion CFA are received for agricultural products
  • 20,000 tons of agricultural products are marketed
  • 30% increase in the volume of marketed agricultural products