Global Partnership Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building

Plant breeding programs in Benin

Geographical situation of BeninIn Benin agricultural production is diversified and contributes 34% to the GDP. However this sector is plagued by a lack of infrastructure, poor utilization of rural credit and inefficient and insufficient use of fertilizers, insecticides and seeds. While cotton is the main cash crop, maize is the main cereal crop.

Agricultural research has been organized in the country by French research and development institutions since 1904 with strong emphasis on cash crops such as oil palm, coffee, coconut and cotton. Research on food crops began later, in 1950. The National Institute for Agricultural Research of Benin (INRAB), created in 1992, has a coordination role for all agricultural research activities in the country. The concept of National Agricultural Research System (NARS) was adopted.

The breeding programmes focus on improving yielding ability, grain quality and resistance to diseases and insect pests. The main activities are making crosses, evaluating segregating populations, evaluating fixed lines developed by national or international. The main crops or crop-groups concerned are fiber crops, maize, oilseeds, other grain legumes, rice, roots and tubers and sorghum and millets.

Benin has important plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. The most limiting factor for the success of plant breeding programmes in the country is lack of financial support.

Research and education institutes with activities in plant breeding

Public Institutes


National Institute for Agricultural Research in Benin (INRAB)
No Website available

Created in 1992, this institute has a coordination role for all agricultural research activities in the country. As the major institution devoted to agricultural research in Benin, it encompasses four agricultural research centers (CRA) and support units.

Faculty of Sciences and Techniques, University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC)
No Website available

This faculty has been involved both in training young graduates and crop improvement. It hosts the national herbarium and the Botanical Garden. Its Laboratory on Genetics and Biotechnology contributes to strengthen the NARS in Biotechnology capacity.

Faculty of Agricultural Science, University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC)
No Website available

UAC is the biggest and the oldest university of Benin. Nevertheless the faculty does not carry out plant breeding activities, only training.


Information by Georges Aballo Agbahungba (2008) - Information based on the Benin's full report from the PBBC survey.
Last revised 17-07-2009, GIPB