Strengthening linkages between small actors and buyers in
the Roots and Tubers sector in Africa


In Benin, the project supports cassava and yam value chains because of their growing commercial potential. Cassava and yam are by far the most cultivated roots and tubers in Benin. They are seen as important sectors in the National Agricultural Investment Plan 2010-2015, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries developed a national strategy to promote the sector, aiming to increase production by improving productivity and increasing access to quality inputs and markets.

Cassava is most often processed into gari, followed by cassava chips, tapioca and lafun – a fermented cassava product. Yam is usually traded fresh and used by households to make pounded yam dishes. Some varieties are processed into chips that are used for milling into flour for the preparation of amala or wassa-wassa and other yam products.

A project inception workshop was carried out in Cotonou that brought together key stakeholders in the yam and cassava value chains and set the course the project’s major activities in the country.

The project is supporting policymakers and institutions important to the sector.

  • Preparing a policy analysis for a national workshop, contributing to possible development of a national platform for cassava and yam.
  • Contributing to the sustainability of market information systems for improved national and regional trade.

The project is focusing on developing inclusive business models throughout the cassava and yam value chains.

  • Developing inclusive business models in the production and commercialization of gari and yam chips - including market linkages with Nigeria.
  • Building capacity for producer organizations and SMEs in value addition and business management.

Sustainable market-led production intensification is a major area of the project.

  • Carrying out a diagnostic study on seed systems for yam, including the current levels of availability and extension, where the seed producers are located and what their constraints are related to access to improved varieties.
  • Implementing a strategy in collaboration with research institutions, seed multipliers and distributors that will increase access to quality inputs.
  • Implementing the Farmer Field School approach to trainers in good agricultural practices, environmentally sound management of natural resources.

The project is working to strengthen access to financial services and climate change risk management tools.

  • Identifying information gaps on the volume of trade in yam and cassava for financial service organizations and other actors.
  • Training local providers of financial services on approaches to financing the value chains of cassava and yam.
  • Analysing the impacts of climate change on cassava and yam to identify its impact on production variability.
  • Developing climate risk management strategies and tools for the various agro-ecological zones and training agricultural support services to use the tools.