Born in the commune of N'dali, 474 km from cotonou in northern Benin, Roméo Garadima, in his forties, is an accountant by training. Married and father of two children, he is passionate about agriculture, especially cashew which he started 12 years ago in association with other crops such as corn and soybean which he grows on an 8-hectare plantation. Roméo is also a butcher.
In 2015, he received a visit from the BeninCajù project agents who advised him on the spacing of trees to be pruned.
I joined the BeninCajù project in 2015. I was producing 800 kg of cashew nuts per season at that time. I had no agricultural or business skills. I received training in N'dali, Dassa, Bohicon on plantation maintenance techniques, good production, harvesting and post-harvest practices and crop association. The application of this knowledge has allowed me to increase my yield. Currently, I produce 3000 Kg of nuts per year''. Romeo GARADIMA. More details here.
WOMEN AND ACCESS TO LAND IN THE CASHEW SECTOR: OPPORTUNITIES OF THE NEW LAND AND STATE CODE OF BENIN (3)
* Today, the cashew nut industry is one of the key springboards for improving incomes and creating jobs, particularly in rural areas. As a result, the Government of Benin's Action Program has selected cashew nuts as one of the priority sectors to be promoted within the framework of agricultural diversification. In addition, many Technical and Financial Partners (TFPs), including the US Department of Agriculture USDA through the BeninCajù Project implemented by TechnoServe Bénin in partnership with CRS, two US NGOs, are joining forces with the government to invest more in the development of this sector, which is emerging in Benin as an interesting alternative to cotton, along with pineapple, rice, oil palm, cassava and soybean.
However, in spite of this growth, and although they are heavily involved in the sector, women still face difficulties in the production chain, particularly with regard to their access to factors of production. In fact, they have responsibilities in harvesting, drying and related tasks, semi and harvesting of crops associated with the plantations (necessary food production). They participate in the activities, either independently on their own farm or on the family farm (husband's field), whether or not they are paid. Nevertheless, very few of them are owners of large farms.
Indeed, at the global level, it should be remembered that women produce more than 50% of the world's food; they represent only 13% of the owners of agricultural land. (FAO). At the national level (BENIN), the analysis of the agricultural situation shows that :
* Women are users of land that is sometimes of poor quality. Her conditions of access are determined by her marital status: unmarried girl, woman married alone or in a polygamous marriage (in this case, the rank of the wife counts), divorced or widowed woman, wife with or without children, etc., the number and sex of her children.
* 12% of women have access to land by inheritance
* 15% of women own plots of land
* 2% of the women own the land they work.
* 19% of rural women have access to land.
In view of this situation, the Government of BENIN has developed a legal mechanism for equal access to land for women and men. As a result, the BeninCajù project, through its "Gender" component, trains its beneficiaries by popularizing the opportunities offered by the new land and state code in Benin. The month of September was once again marked by information and sharing sessions, with the objectives of enabling them to better understand the law and its implementing decrees; then to equip gender focal points to seize the opportunities offered by the land and state code for access to land and land security.
During these sessions, various points of attention were discussed.
Read more details here.
In 2016, the BeninCajù project for the integration and acceleration of the cashew sector in BENIN, funded by USDA and implemented by TechnoServe Bénin in partnership with CRS, was launched. Benefiting producers, processors, professional associations of the cashew sector, and public structures concerned with the development of the sector, the general objective of BeninCajù is to strengthen and expand the cashew sector and make it more productive and profitable for the benefit of Benin's socio-economic development.
BeninCajù implements its activities through 6 components namely: Production, Cashew Nut and Apple Processing, Sector Policy-Institutional Support, Access to Finance, Gender, and Producer Support. The Access to Finance component strengthens the capacities of small and large financing institutions and deals with the relationship with clients. It includes a grant fund which is the Fund for Innovation and Enterprise Development (FIDE). The objective of FIDE is to complement the ongoing interventions of the BeninCajù project to promote and accelerate innovation and the adoption of improved technologies, and to fill short-term gaps in financing investments in the cashew sector.
Two actors in the sector, including NASSARA BENIN, beneficiaries of FIDE, have already been supported by this fund on various projects in connection with producers and the subsidy lines approved by BeninCajù in this regard amount to nearly 150 million FCFA. NASSARA is a pioneer in Benin in the production, processing and export of certified organic and fair trade cashew nuts.
More details here.
Visite d'une plantation d'anacardiers bio à Nikki par BeninCajù.
For women and girls in the developing world, COVID-19 exacerbates existing inequalities and creates new challenges. In Benin, cashew producers like Elisabeth ATCHADE must juggle many responsibilities, including earning money for the household while taking on most of the duties including childcare. Find out here, how the BeninCajù project is helping women meet these challenges and emerge even stronger from the crisis.