Benin

Overview

Despite steady growth, Benin’s economy remains underdeveloped and overly dependent on subsistence agriculture and cotton production.

Cashews have become an increasingly important export crop, though the majority of nuts are exported in their raw form without the significant added value of processing. TechnoServe is working to expand economic opportunities in Benin by helping cashew processors raise their production levels and connect with lucrative markets, while creating jobs in rural areas where unemployment is high.

On The Ground

Projects

 

Strengthening Competitive Businesses in Benin

Launched in late 2014, TechnoServe is implementing a business plan competition program, with funding from the World Bank and working in conjunction with the Government of Benin, to create jobs by strengthening formal small and medium enterprises, with a focus on the high-potential industries of transportation, construction and agribusiness. TechnoServe is working with 500 entrepreneurs selected through a competitive application process to develop bankable business plans and build their capacities in key areas of business management. These 500 participants (including startups and existing businesses) have been trained on basic principles of entrepreneurship. To date, 228 finalists were selected through a juried competition, out of which 137 winners were identified to refine and implement their business plans. The winning entrepreneurs are receiving more intensive, customized assistance, including grant financing, one-on-one coaching, and sector-specific trainings from local experts. TechnoServe completed a gender analysis to help the team target and promote women entrepreneurs, as well as sector analyses to determine which sectors have the highest sustainable growth potential and can generate the highest volume of potential jobs. By project end, TechnoServe anticipates that participating enterprises will receive a cumulative 1.2 billion FCFA (over $2 million) in financing, and create more than 2,000 jobs.

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Strengthening a Sustainable Cashew Sector in Benin

Responding to high demand in the global cashew market and the superior quality of their raw product, Benin’s cashew cultivation has expanded more than tenfold in the past two decades. Yet processing capacity and other value chain inefficiencies have kept the sector from reaching its potential, and Benin still exports 92 percent of its cashew as unprocessed raw nut. Started in September 2015 with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), TechnoServe’s BeninCajù is a sector-wide value chain approach aimed at strengthening and expanding the cashew sector into a more productive, competitive, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth engine for the people of Benin. Over five years, BeninCajù will increase yields and revenues for 32,000 smallholder cashew farmers, triple domestic processing capacity, create at least 3,400 jobs (70 percent for women), catalyze development of the nascent by-product market, and set the sector on a path for continued growth and success.

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Blog Posts

November 22, 2016

A New Look at the Cashew

Innovations in the cashew value chain provide women the opportunity to become leaders in their families and communities.

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October 3, 2016

A New Model for Benin’s Cashew Industry

With technical expertise and training from TechnoServe, a Benin-based company has established a world-class cashew processing facility that prioritizes social and environmental responsibility.

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June 7, 2016

The Launch of BeninCajù: A New Era for Cashew in Benin

The official ceremony launching the project BeninCajù was held Thursday, June 2 in Cotonou, with representatives from the Government of Benin and the Director of USAID Benin.

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Contact

TechnoServe Benin

Lot 627, Von de la Résidence de l'Ambassadeur des Pays Bas, Face Villa Séréna
Quartier: Les Cocotiers
Cotonou, Bénin

Tel: +229 62011867​

Jane Grob

Acting Country Director
jgrob@tns.org

Resources