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PRESS RELEASEJune 11, 2024

Benin: $150 Million to Strengthen the Competitiveness of Agri-Food Value Chains

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2024 - The World Bank has approved $150 million in International Development Association (IDA)* additional financing to help Benin improve food security and productivity and strengthen the resilience of populations in the country's northern regions.

The additional financing of the Benin Agricultural Competitiveness and Export Diversification Project aims not only to boost food security through increased production of rice and market garden produce, but also to generate more inclusive economic opportunities in the upstream and downstream segments of these value chains for young people, women, and other vulnerable populations to prevent fragility in the country's northern regions. It will also support the development of hydro-agricultural schemes, the supply of agricultural inputs (fertilizers and seeds), improved production technologies, and agricultural advisory services targeting the value chains involved. Further, it will enable continued support for improving productivity and increasing exports of pineapple and cashew by-products, thus providing enhanced economic and livelihood opportunities.

Thanks to this additional funding, 3,000 ha of irrigated land will be developed for rice production and market gardening, 34,000 ha of cashew plantations will be rehabilitated, and 7,000 ha of new cashew plantations will be created. In the specific case of pineapple, a farm school will be created and an industrial unit to produce vitroplants, with an annual capacity of 13.5 million seedlings, will be built to help solve the problem of healthy planting material availability, which is an obstacle to the rapid expansion of pineapple production.

"Agriculture in Benin still employs two-thirds of the population. As a result, investment in the agricultural sector has a major impact on job creation and improving living conditions for the population. This additional financing will help create new economic opportunities and more inclusive livelihoods for populations in fragile and at-risk areas of the country,” said Nestor Coffi, World Bank Country Manager for Benin.It is also an important pillar for food security and a key driver of fragility prevention mechanisms.

Launched in June 2020, the Benin agricultural competitiveness and export diversification project has rehabilitated around 83,000 ha of old cashew plantations and established around 18,000 ha of new plantations, created around 1,000 ha of pineapple plantations, and facilitated access to fertilizers for around 300,000 producers. It has increased the volume of cashew nuts and pineapples marketed by project beneficiaries by 36% and 20% respectively, and boosted cashew yields by 16.5% and pineapple yields by 10.6%. The project supported the construction of temperature-controlled logistics facilities for exports of perishable agricultural products at Cotonou airport. Nearly 350,000 people have benefited directly from the project to date.

*International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank institution that helps the world’s poorest countries. Founded in 1960, it provides grants and low- and no-cost loans to finance projects and programs that stimulate economic growth, reduce poverty and improve the lives of the poorest people. IDA is a major donor to 76 of the world's poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. IDA's resources are making a difference in the lives of 1.6 billion people in its eligible countries. Since its inception, IDA has supported development activities in 113 countries. The annual volume of IDA commitments has been steadily increasing and has averaged $21 billion over the past three years, with about 61 percent of that amount going to Africa.



In Cotonou:
Gnona Afangbedji,
(229) 90074732


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