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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

Director-General meets Benin Minister for Environment and Secretary General of the Ministry for Agriculture

Director-General meets Benin Minister for Environment Mr Raphael Edou and Secretary General of the Ministry for Agriculture Mr Olivier Vigan

4 November 2013, Cotonou, Benin - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and the Benin Minister for Environment, Mr Raphael Edou, discussed several issues including the government project "Ten million people, ten million trees". Graziano da Silva praised the Government of Benin for this initiative as a contribution to the Great Green Wall. 

DG mentioned that FAO supports Benin through the promotion and development of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) as a contribution to food security. He noted NTFPs had good potential to contribute to economic growth as well. 

The Minister mentioned his concern about soil degradation, which needs to be addressed and for which FAO could provide some support. 

Graziano da Silva raised the issue of plastic bags that kill livestock and discussed ways of improving their management. He suggested looking at policies to address this important environmental issue. 

Mr. Olivier Vigan, the Secretary General of the Ministry for Agriculture, mentioned the need to increase direct investments taking into account building the resilience of young people and their capacity to prevent and better cope with crisis. 

He thanked the Director-General for the support with the emergency project just signed. 

The Secretary General also underlined the fact that to address the problem of unemployment and attract young people to the agriculture sector, the government would like to establish a fund that could support the settlement of young farmers. 

Graziano da Silva said the new program FAO is designing will also take this into consideration especially for those young people who studied at the Songhai Center.