Food Systems

Supporting market access in Benin: the FAO PADAAM Project

30/11/2022

FAO’s role to support market access for rice, cassava and maize value chains actors in Benin: The FAO PADAAM Project

In Benin, the national agricultural development strategy advocates for a paradigm shift focused on the creation of added value through the promotion of inclusive economic partnerships, linking small producers and their organizations to the private sector and to the market. Selected sub-sectors at national level include three conventional commodities, i.e. rice, maize and cassava, with the aim of strengthening food security and increasing the income of rural populations.

Despite the importance of the three value chains, small and medium-sized actors operating in these sectors struggle to reach profitable markets, efficiently add value to their produce and access affordable financing to support their activities.

In 2019, the Government of Benin requested and obtained financial support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for the formulation and implementation of the Agricultural Development and Market Access Support Project (PADAAM), whose objective is to sustainably improve food security and the incomes of small-scale producers, particularly women and youth.

The PADAAM project is structured into 2 components:

  1. Strengthening partnerships and creating value added;
  2. Improving agricultural productivity and production. It targets the conventional rice, maize and cassava sectors in its intervention zone, which covers four agricultural development poles (PDAs): Pole 4 covering the Collines department; Pole 5 covering the Zou and Couffo departments; Pole 6 covering the Plateau department; and Pole 7 covering the Ouémé, Atlantic and Mono departments.

PADAAM will reach 51,000 households to impact approximately between 255,000 rural people among smallholder farmers, rural youth, agribusiness and downstream value chain actors and professional organizations. The targeting approach favours women and youth (15-35 years old) who represent 40% and 30% of the beneficiaries respectively.

For the implementation of component 1 of PADAAM, the Government requested FAO to provide international expertise for the operational coordination of all operators involved in sub-component 1.1, which aims to improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of the sectors by formalizing relations between actors through mutually beneficial productive partnerships, allowing for better integration between the production, processing and marketing links.

Specifically, FAO is providing support for the facilitation ('brokening') and implementation of inclusive productive partnerships through:

  • Support for the operational coordination of all specialized private operators involved in the implementation of productive partnerships and in particular for the implementation of their annual work plans and budget (PTBA) at the PDA level;
  • Capacity building of the Territorial Agencies for Agricultural Development (ATDA) in project management and technical functions;
  • Support in the utilization of the FAO Rural Invest software to develop inclusive business plans for value chain actors targeted by the PADAAM project;
  • Identification of the effective schemes and modalities stimulating financing institutions to provide inclusive finance for value chain actors and catalytic partnerships with potential investors to unlock additional resources.

Given its comparative advantages in strengthening agricultural partnerships for agricultural value chains, facilitating market linkages for small-scale producers and processors, and improving the supply of agricultural financial services, FAO is providing technical assistance to the PADAAM during the period December 2020 - June 2024.