02 Mar 2022

Empowering farmers in Benin by increasing their yield and income

In Africa, there is rising demand for fresh and nutritious vegetables. Therefore, we are collaborating with Holland Greentech and local partners to further professionalise the fruit and vegetable value chain, and that starts with empowering farmers. This has resulted in an extensive training programme for farmers in many African countries, as this story from Benin illustrates.

Food security

Thousands of people in both urban and rural areas are employed in the vegetable sector in Benin. Despite the efforts made by local farmers and producers, there is still a gap between supply and demand when it comes to fresh and nutritious vegetables. Meanwhile, the country’s population continues to grow and the demand is rapidly further increasing.

Training programme for local farmers

Holland Greentech is active in eastern, western and southern Africa and supports growers with technical advice as well as by introducing improved cultivation methods and better quality vegetable seeds. Luc Agbicodo, agronomist and technician at Holland Greentech Benin, shares his experiences: “Holland Greentech not only sells seeds and not only installs new irrigation systems, but we also give training to farmers. We accompany the grower; he produces and we follow him until the harvest. Then after the harvest, we guide him to the commercial part.”

More fresh produce

Holland Greentech has been active in Benin for the past couple of years and the initial results are already visible: growers are achieving higher yields and can produce more with fewer inputs. Moreover, thanks to better value chain partnerships, they know where to go to sell their fresh produce which generates regular sales and a better income. And ultimately, more local people have better access to fresh and tasty vegetables.

Sharing a healthy future

HortiBenin is a synergy between RVO, Holland Green Tech, Agriterra, Go&Grow Solutions, TU Delft, Catch Your Moment, Agriterra Burkina Faso, national supermarket chains and Rijk Zwaan. As a vegetable breeding company, we have been supplying vegetable seeds for this project from the start. Heleen Bos, Specialist Development Projects at Rijk Zwaan, has regular contact with Holland Greentech and is positive about the partnership: “We both believe in the added value of a personal approach and of sharing knowledge with local growers to help them strengthen their business. That’s how we – as part of the value chain – help to improve the income and yield for local growers, provide the local population with fresh and healthy vegetables, and contribute to the world’s food supply.”