The model is organised around tree pillars, the production, the service and the supply pillar. The institutional structure behind the model in the pilot phase of 18 months in the Mono province (districts Bopa and Houéyogbé) and the Donga province (districts Ouaké and Djougou), are two national NGOs, APRECTECTRA and GRAPAD. The first NGO, APRECTECTRA, is in charge of technical development of a viable chicken production system at village level, and the second NGO, GRAPAD, for the financing of the production inputs, group formation, credit training and follow-up.
However, for a good conduct of actions, the two NGOs are highly dependent on the collaboration of private veterinarians, of craftsmen supplying poultry keeping facilities in local materials, of the personnel of the "Direction d’élevage" for the technical support; and of scientists of Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques of Abomey Calavi University and the Network for Smallholder Poultry Development in Denmark for the specific supports in research and for the development of the system. The tree pillars of the model have specialized functions and tasks.
The pillar of production : It constitutes of smallholders, who each have a small farm with only 8 to 10 hens, mainly local breeds. The hens are kept under semi scavenging conditions and fed less than 40% by locally supplemented feed.
Supply pillar : This pillar is composed by Village Vaccinators (VVV), who are local poultry keepers trained specifically to vaccinate birds. Vaccine against Newcastle Disease is supplied by private veterinarians and the VVVs charge a vaccination fee. Another member of the supply pillar is the poultry seller. A poultry seller collects poultry and market them in the nearby towns. Poultry keepers may also sell their chickens themselves in the village. Some peasants are specialized themselves for the construction of poultry equipment, housing, perches, drinkers etc. for the poultry keepers. Due to the lack of a parent stock and subsequent sustainable delivery of Day-Old-Chicks (DOCs) in Benin, it was decided to use a simple supply model in Benin, focusing on local breed and the delivery of vaccines and medicals.
Service pillar: The pilot phase of the project presently covers 10 villages in the North (department Donga) and 10 villages in the South (department Mono). Each village has 40 members, i.e. total of approximately 800 farmers plus 40 VVV. The involved NGOs form small village groups with 5 members. The groups hold weekly meetings to discuss relevant subjects. New poultry keepers are allowed to join the village group (AVPAT: Association Villageoise de Producteurs d’Aviculture Traditionelle) only after receiving 2 to 3 days training programme held by the NGO for the poultry holder and by the university staff (FSA) for the VVV and extension workers of the involved NGOs.
Technical extension is provided by APRETECTRA and financial extension are provided by GRAPAD. Depending on the activities (poultry keeper, VVV, poultry seller) each member is provided with a small loan of 30,000 FCFA for producers and 25,000 F CFA for VVV and poultry sellers. The repayment period is 1 year for a poultry producer and 6 months for the others. The interest rate is 12% per semester while the rate of saving is 18% per semester and a rate of penalty of 2% the month on the capital remaining due.
For the pilot phase (2000-2002), the model will be developed further, based on the ongoing evaluation of gaps on the technical or financial side, the Network for Smallholder Poultry Development Copenhagen and scientists of Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques of Abomey Calavi University will develop training material, other documents and a scientific resource for semi scavenging poultry holdings.
20 AVPATS are created and function for the promotion of the traditional poultry production.
40 VVVs, chosen on the basis of very definite selection criteria, are trained in vaccination and medication (APRETECTRA 2002). All are very active in the field and some have achieved substantial beneficiary profit margins.
Data from baseline studies enables a comparison of the mean poultry flock size and structure before and after the PADAV intervention with training and vaccination campaigns in the Northern department Donga (Ouake and Djougou). From table 1 it is clear that the effect on reducing the natural mortality of the chicks is pronounced (from 90 - 100% to an estimated 5 - 10% after vaccination campaigns)
The adoption of new simple technologies by the smallholders (troughs in terracotta, improved nests, utilisation of local feed stuffs, grouped marketing of products) is well established in most villages, giving a sustainable effect.
Preliminary results on the use of credit (table 2) shows two remarkable tendencies for the smallholders: 1) Very little (13%) of the initial loans are spend on feed, and 2) 25% are spend on poultry housing, not initially included in the budgeted expenditures. If smallholder’s spending patterns are not well balanced, severe effects may be found on the repayment of the loans and the sustainability of the model.