Faced with the effects of the Covid-19 crisis, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) designed and implemented a project under the Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries
This is the Support project for the Plan to Mitigate the Impacts of Covid-19 on the Agricultural Sector and Food and Nutrition Security. Thanks to Project TCP/BEN/3802 entitled Support for the Plan, rural women and young people in Benin have been supported for access to agricultural inputs.
The Project was initiated and implemented in a context of difficulties related to access to agricultural seeds due to Beninese government measures to limit travel in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The FAO Project TCP/BEN/3802 came at the right time in support of the Beninese government's efforts to ‘improve the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises’ linked to the pandemic.
"Groups of women, young people and individual producers have so far received 77 tons of NPK fertiliser, 16 tons of urea, 34 tons of maize seeds, 25 tons of rice seeds and 720 boxes of 100 g tomatoes," said Eugène Djossou, MAEP executive and coordinator of Project TCP/BEN/3802 at the FAO. The project also supported the Technical Support Unit for Food and Nutritional Security (CT/ SAGSA), to carry out the analysis of food insecurity according to the methodology of the Harmonised Framework (CH) tool in the context of Covid -19.
In terms of aquaculture, the project carried out the diagnosis of fish feed manufacturing units in order to build their capacity in equipment and techniques for manufacturing fish feed. To this end, equipment has been ordered and will soon be given to the beneficiaries identified for this purpose.
According to the opinions of the beneficiaries, the marketing of the products harvested during the first agricultural campaign had a positive impact on the daily lives of households. This is the case of rural women, Clementine Dovonou and Marcelline Ahonou, two rice producers who recognised that Project TCP/BEN/3802 not only facilitated access to food in their families, but also the schooling of their children with resources from the sale of harvested products.
''The marketing of products obtained from FAO seeds is easy, because the grains are beautiful and large, my customers have appreciated it a lot,” stated Dame Ogoumandjo Ramantou, maize seller and cooperative member in Pobè in the south-east of Benin.