From February 24 to 28 2020, TechnoServe_Bénin received in its premises in Cotonou and Parakou, the visit of USDA, donor of the BeninCajù project in the person of Mr. Waleed (Will) RABIEH, Senior International Program Specialist, Foreign Agricultural Service, US Department of Agriculture.
His stay was marked by an audience with the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, then the Minister of Industry and Trade, exchanges meetings with project staff and field visits to touch on the activities of the BeninCajù project throughout the cashew value chain (nurseries, growers, nut processing plants, cashew apple processing plants), and discussions with some clients and beneficiary partners.
«I am impressed by the number of effective producers already trained in the field by BeninCajù while the project is not yet finished. I congratulate you on this achievement. Women represent the largest workforce in cashew processing, and I am proud of the job creation that BeninCajù has created for this segment of the population....» Waleed RABIEH.
During his meeting with all stakeholders, he emphasized USDA's commitment and availability to support the cashew industry in its development in Benin.
He also congratulated and encouraged the staff of BeninCajù for their efforts and hard work in achieving the project's objectives.
« Although many problems still need to be solved in Benin's cashew sector, BeninCajù's progress over the past four years has been remarkable. We are on track to process nearly 50 per cent of Benin's production by the end of the project and make a positive impact on the lives of more than 50,000 farmers. This project is a model of the success that can be achieved in the African cashew nut sector. As USDA continues to invest in the sector, we will view the successes of BeninCajù as a barometer of what can be accomplished through the diligent work of partners like TechnoServe» Waleed RABIEH.
More details Here
The sixth edition of the World Cashew Convention (WCC) coupled with the third edition of the National Cashew Days of Côte d'Ivoire (JNCC 2020) was held from 12 to 14 February 2020 in Abidjan. It was in the presence of the Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire, Mr. Amadou Gon Coulibaly. This year's theme is: ''Building a Sustainable Ecosystem for the Global Cashew Industry''.
Jointly organized by cashewinfo.com and the Association of Cashew Nut Exporters of Côte d'Ivoire (AEC-CI), this convention is a global platform for important information, discussions, networking and business links in the cashew sector.
In addition to the national stakeholders of the cashew sector in Côte d'Ivoire, the convention brought together representatives from the cashew producing countries Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Togo and Guinea Bissau, as well as from the cashew importing countries Vietnam and India, the two largest cashew processors in the world. Overall, more than 36 countries were represented and 600 participants attended.
More details here
The National Council of Cashew Exporters of Benin (CoNEC-Benin) in collaboration with the National Federation of Buyers of Agricultural and Tropical Products of Benin (FENAPAT-Benin), the Interprofession of the Cashew Nut Industry of Benin (IFA-B) and its partners, organized with the support of the BeninCajù project, the first edition of the BENIN CASHEW DAY 2020.
This unprecedented event which was held on January 24, 2020 at Golden Tulip Hotel, had, as main objective, to reflect on a model of continuous improvement of the cashew nut marketing system in Benin, and to sensitize the actors on the general provisions required to ensure the smooth running of the 2020 cashew marketing campaign.
The theme of this first edition is entitled: "Improving the cashew marketing system in Benin: State of play, Challenges and Prospects". More details Here
DIGITALIZATION OF CASHEW INDUSTRY IN BENIN: OPINIONS AND EXPECTATIONS OF THE BENEFICIARIES OF THE CajùLab PROJECT
The CajùLab project funded by #Wehubitimpactfuldigitalproject and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), then implemented by TechnoServe Bénin aims to contribute to the scaling up and adoption of best practices in Smart Agriculture facing the climate in Bénin. This will be done by improving the supply of training services on climate-smart agriculture in the cashew sector, particularly in the production chain. The project will use drones and artificial intelligence to automate the assessment of land management, soil and plantation conditions, etc.
This project will impact various stakeholders in the cashew sector, notably public institutions such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MAEP), the Territorial Agency for Agricultural Development pole 4 (ATDA4), associations of producers in the sector such as the National Federation of Cashew Producers of Benin (FENAPAB), producers, etc.
The success of CajùLab depends on the effective involvement of the various stakeholders and / or beneficiaries so that they play their roles properly and that their opinions and expectations are integrated into the decision-making process of the project. This will significantly improve the quality of decisions by making interactions more effective and constructive. To this end, it is crucial that these different stakeholders have a better knowledge of the project in order to give their opinions and expectations.
It is in this context that TechnoServe Bénin organized on December 5, 2019 in Parakou, a session of presentation of the CajùLab project to cashew producers and to partner organizations of the sector that are: the Territorial Agency for Agricultural Development 4 (ATDA4) / MAEP, the National Federation of Cashew Producers of Benin (FENAPAB) and its branches, the National Federation of Certified Cashew Nursery of Benin (FeNaPAC-Benin) as well as some producers.
More details here
From November 22 to December 1, 2019, the city of Abidjan vibrated with the colors and sounds of the International Agriculture and Animal Resources Show SARA for its 5th edition which had as theme: Intelligent Agriculture and Technological Innovations: what perspectives for African agriculture?
Positioned as the benchmark agricultural, animal and forestry fair in sub-Saharan Africa, SARA has been revived by the Ivorian government in order to enhance, promote and develop all the riches of the agricultural, livestock and fishing sector of Côte d'Ivoire while integrating African countries. With more than 300,000 visitors expected from 25 countries, the BeninCajù project for the integration and acceleration of the cashew sector in Benin, funded by the USDA Department of Agriculture, and implemented by TechnoServe Benin and CRS, did not stay on the sidelines of this major event, in order to:
* Benefit from greater visibility
* Establish business contacts and share experiences
* Promote the Sweet Benin cashew apple juice driven by the BeninCajù project
* Test the Ivorian and sub-regional market
* Multiply the opportunities to sell Sweet Benin cashew apple juice.
Thus, present on SARA during the 10 days of opening, BeninCajù has positioned Sweet Benin juices as the innovation in cashew apple processing. Indeed, previously little valued, the cashew apple was revealed in 2017 by BeninCajù, under the Sweet Benin label, like the other treasure of the cashew tree. It is a product with enormous economic and nutritional potential. Three of the ten companies processing cashew apples into juice that have benefited from close technical support from TechnoServe Benin actively participated in this fair for the exhibition-sales-business contacts on Sweet Benin juices. These are Tropic Fruits, 2LB and TSF. Ivorian consumers have greatly appreciated not only Sweet Benin cashew apple juice for purchase and tasting, but also cashew almonds from Benin, whiter, larger, sweeter!
"With all these nutrients (vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C) and the flavor of this juice, I will adopt it with my family! In which store can it be found here? " Ms. Fabienne KIPRE, TechnoServe / BeninCajù / Sweet Bénin stand visitor.
This is a question recorded with each purchase and tasting of Sweet Benin juice! More than 1,600 visitors registered at the TechnoServe Benin stand, with several business contacts established for the marketing of Sweet Benin cashew apple juice in Côte d'Ivoire. Various Beninese authorities visiting the TechnoServe stand, expressed their pride in seeing Sweet Benin cashew apple juice internationally. It should be noted that in West Africa, BENIN is a pioneer in the processing of cashew apple into quality juice which is an undoubted success. SARA, a huge opportunity for Sweet Benin cashew apple juice which will now be available on the Ivorian market. The appointment is made for the next SARA and other similar events in the African region.
Sweet Benin, The sweetness of life!
BeninCajù, Better Cashew, Better Lives!
Some pictures here!
From the left to the right stand: The Minister of State for Development of BENIN- former President of the CCIB- the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries authorities, all visiting the TechnoServe stand on SARA.
EVELYNE OMONLADE, CHAIRWOMAN OF THE FENAPAB SUPERVISORY BOARD: A FEMALE LEADERSHIP IN THE CASHEW SECTOR!
Woman leader of the rural environment in the town of Kétou 158 km from Cotonou, Mrs. Evelyne OMONLADE is a native of Idigny in the south-east of BENIN. In her forties, she is married and the mother of 4 children. For 20 years, she has been working in the cashew sector, which she joined after taking her steps in the business of buying and reselling various items. Very active and very listened to in the agricultural environment in Kétou, Evelyne is at the forefront of actions promoting women's access to land. Representative of rural women from Benin at the ECOWAS Conference in Abudja in 2018, she was chosen and delegated by WANEP and OSFAM to validly discuss the involvement of women in agriculture in the West African sub-region and especially in Benin.
In the same vein, she also participated in April 2019 in Adis Ababa (Ethiopia) in the conference on the accessibility of women to the land. Owner of a 3 hectares cashew plantation, she produced 450 kg of cashew nuts per season. From 2017, she followed the BeninCajù training courses on good practices and good production techniques. Currently, she has a production of 1200 kg of cashew nuts per year.
"BeninCajù is a very good project which has strengthened my knowledge and my skills in cashew production. Since I applied the techniques taught, my seasonal production has increased by 166% going from 450 Kg before BeninCajù to 1200Kg in 2 years with BeninCajù. By 2022 in 3 years, I will fight to reach more than 2000 Kg "Evelyne OMONLADE.
Her leadership, her determination and her commitment not only for the cause of women but also for the cashew sector, motivated the support of BeninCajù, and that of the actors of the sector, for her election as President of the Supervisory Board of the National Federation of Cashew Producers of Benin (FENAPAB), which ensures compliance with the internal regulations and statutes, then the management of cooperatives. This corroborates the multiple actions implemented by the BeninCajù project.
"It is an honor and a pride for me, this magnificent election. I hope this feat does not stop with me. I urge the women of the commune of Kétou to redouble their efforts for the development of the sector." Evelyne OMONLADE.
Find out more on this video!
Evelyne OMONLADE, 3rd from the right, among the women she leads in her town. Awareness session on gender mainstreaming in the cashew sector by the BeninCajù project. Idigny-Kétou, November 2019.
A native of northern BENIN, Mrs. Sahadatou ATTA KAKAYATCHI, in her fifties, began and completed her entire educational career in Parakou at the Primary School "Abdoulaye Issa", then at CEG 1 "Hubert MAGA". She embarked on her career with the Forest Resource Restoration Project (PRRF) funded by the government of Germany where she spent several years before joining the cashew sector. Married and mother of three, Sahadatou owns five 7.5-hectare cashew plantations in Pénessoulou in the commune of Bassila, 372 km from cotonou in northern Benin. Entering the production of cashew since 1998, and previously Chef district, this devoted mother manages in the alternative, her restaurant, her soap trade and carries out social works in favor of the orphans of her district.
Her bravery and the support of BeninCajù, accompanied by the support of actors in the sector, contributed to her brilliant election as head of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of Cashew Producers of Benin (FENAPAB). Indeed, having included in its priorities from the year 2019, activities for the awareness of actors with a view to better taking gender into account in the different links of production, the BeninCajù project strongly campaigned upstream by advocacy with FENAPAB for the amendment of texts in favor of greater gender mainstreaming. Thus, BeninCajù supported downstream, the process of renewal of the management bodies of FENAPAB which ended on September 23, 2019 with the election at its head of Mrs. Sahadatou ATTA KAKAYATCHI as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors.
«The success of my mandate, I urge women to fight harder for a significant boom in the sector. I request the support of the agricultural authorities of the APRM for the achievement of our common objectives, since cashew is the 2nd export culture of Benin and better, one of the flagship sectors of Bénin Government's Action Plan » Sahadatou ATTA KAKAYATCHI
In addition, Sahadatou has recorded a significant growth in her performance since she worked with BeninCajù.
«Before BeninCajù, I worked in my plantations simply by reforesting in an archaic manner, pell-mell, without picketing; and I produced 300kg of cashews per season. With BeninCajù from 2017, I acquired notions on how to plant (soil preparation, picketing, hole making, respecting the number of centimeters, planting grafted plants), which favored an increase in the quantity of cashew nuts produced to 500 kg in 2019 on my 7 hectares. My income has therefore increased by 67% in 2 years, which allows me to support my husband and take better care of my family. At this pace, I plan to acquire new land in order to extend my production to 1000 kg on 15 hectares by 2022 in 3 years. »Sahadatou ATTA KAKAYATCHI
Watch this video!
SAHADATOU ATTA KAKAYATCHI, NEW ELECTED PRESIDENT OF FENAPAB: THE SIGN OF EFFECTIVE INTEGRATION OF GENDER IN THE CASHEW INDUSTRY IN BENIN!
Started since July 15, 2019, the process of renewing the management bodies of the National Federation of Cashew Producers of Benin (FENAPAB) had a happy epilogue on September 23, 2019. Indeed, with an eye of the State in the process and the support of the Technical and Financial Partners (PTF), including the BeninCajù project, all the producers members of the Federation were mobilized to freely elect their peers who deserve to represent them with dignity in the Instances namely, the Council of Administration and the Supervisory Board.
Upstream, the BeninCajù project made a advocacy to FENAPAB for the amendment of the texts (statutes and rules of procedure) in favor of greater integration of gender in the sector. In addition, the training chain for the various actors on the gender approach, as well as the development activities for women in the sector, carried out by BeninCajù have significantly contributed to motivating the support of men to bring to the head of the Board of Directors of FENAPAB, a brave woman in the person of Mrs. Sahadatou ATTA KAKAYATCHI.
« I am honored and very proud of this deserved election, without false modesty (laughs) and I thank my colleagues for this confidence. For the success of my mandate, I urge women to fight harder for a significant boom in the sector. I request the support of the agricultural authorities of the Ministry for the achievement of our common objectives, since cashew is the second export crop of Benin and better, one of the flagship sectors of the PAG » ATTA KAKAYATCHI.
Unanimously, 756 village cashew producers cooperatives, 34 communal unions of cashew producers cooperatives, 4 regional unions of cashew producers cooperatives and the apex itself voted for the election of the new board of directors of the Board of FENAPAB. More details Here
INVESTMENT IN CASHEW VALUE CHAIN: THE SOUHEIL FAKHRAN FOODS S.A.L COMPANY ON A PROSPECTING VISIT TO BENIN
The processing nuts component of the BeninCajù project deals, among other things, with the marketing of cashew produced in Benin as well as connecting foreign traders with cashew processing factories in Benin. It is by the springboard of this prerogative that the Lebanese Company Souheil Fakhran Foods S.A.L formerly known as Haj Souheil Fakhran Trading was canvassed to Benin. It is a wholesale business that imports, exports and distributes raw materials for oriental sweets, foreign pastries (baked confectionery), roast products, dates and many other catering needs. Covering Lebanon the Middle East and part of Europe, SFF has been a leader in providing the right product with optimal service.
They stayed in Benin from October 12 to 15, 2019 in order to:
- Visit cashew processing factories
- organize B to B meetings with local processors
- Identify the country's potential in terms of investment in the cashew value chain.
Souheil Fakhran Foods S.A.L also consulted the authorities of the BeninCajù project for an effective contact and solid follow-up with a view to providing an environment for the first negotiations carried out in the field.
The BeniBiz project sets up for each cohort of entrepreneurs supported (training and coaching), a cash reward mechanism consisting of awarding around 50 Entrepreneurs/cohort, including 35 from component 1 (Micros, Small and Medium Enterprises) and 16 from component 2 (Small and Medium Enterprises). This award is a non-repayable grant awarded to the best MSMEs and SMEs who have recorded excellent performance in the adoption of management practices at the end of the BeniBiz support program, for the quality of the implementation of the skills acquired during training and the exemplary of the entrepreneur. The amount of the reward varies from 500,000 to 1,000,000 FCFA for MSMEs and 2,000,000 FCFA for SMEs. The companies eligible for this award are those admitted to aftercare (more in-depth coaching after the training and coaching period). The basic criterias for the awarding are as follows:
1) Quality / Management tools: good keeping of the cash journal, regularity in the establishment of the profit and loss account, relevance of the decisions taken on the basis of the company's figures (financial planning), existence of an operational bank account different from the personal account of the entrepreneur.
2) Financial Performance: steady growth in turnover, positive net results over the support period;
3) Planning the growth of the company: planning objectives, existence of a relevant growth plan, existence of a strategy to finance growth, etc.....
4) Marketing Strategy: existence of a marketing plan, regular updating of the marketing strategy; continuous improvement of the customer experience;
5) Quality of the entrepreneur: control of his sales pitch, transmission of financial data; commitments to implement the growth plan even in the absence of external funding.
During the October 2019 month, the Business Advisors of the BeniBiz project are therefore issuing checks to entrepreneurs of cohort 1, in the 11 operations departments of the project. These funds will allow beneficiaries to further increase their business!
See some pictures below!