Dawn of Benin agriculture: The brilliance of agricultural enterprise hub and rice cultivation revolution by GEA-Benin
In the 21st edition of our starred section “Gems of Family Farms,” we spotlight an agricultural jewel that blossomed under the Beninese skies. The Groupement des Exploitants Agricoles du Bénin (GEA-Bénin) has crafted a project that carries within it the seeds of prosperity and progress. Through the Promotion of Agricultural Enterprise Hub (PEA) initiative focused on the System of Intensive Rice Cultivation (SRI), GEA-Bénin orchestrated a symphony of growth and innovation echoing across Benin’s fertile plains. Since its inception in 1993, GEA-Bénin has been a beacon of hope and a catalyst for change for agricultural operators. The staging of the PEA-SRI in June 2013, was like a welcome rain on a land thirsty for improvement. The judicious location of the project in Dangbo-Adjohoun within the Ouémé department, became the stage where 349 agricultural actors, including 92 women and 181 youths, played leading roles in this agricultural transformation adventure.
The objectives of PEA were clear and tangible – to increase the quantity and quality of rice production, develop a robust value chain, and ensure producers have access to regular markets at remunerative prices. And the results speak volumes. Yields doubled, moving from 3.5 tons per hectare to an impressive 8 tons per hectare. The music of harvest machines became the melody of abundance and progress. The linkage with the Coopérative d’Appui à la Filière Riz dans l’Ouémé et le Plateau (CAFROP) was a masterstroke in this agricultural composition. It created a reliable market outlet for producers while ensuring CAFROP a regular supply of raw materials. It’s a symbiosis that allowed each party to thrive and explore new frontiers of success.
The lessons gleaned from this endeavor are jewels of wisdom. The strengthening of technical and organizational capacities of producers emerged as a central pillar for increasing yields. Campaign credits were identified as a crucial lever for ensuring raw material supply, underscoring the ingenuity of GEA-Bénin’s approach. The success factors of the PEA-SRI initiative are an ode to innovation and commitment. Adapting to difficulties, adopting best agricultural practices, and close monitoring of producers are some of the key notes that composed this symphony of success. The adoption of the technological package and rigorous planning were the chords that harmonized the efforts of producers, culminating in a melody of increased yields and improved livelihoods.
However, the journey was not without challenges. The credit purchase over a long period posed problems, illustrating that even in the brightest successes, there are lessons to learn and improvements to make. GEA-Bénin, with its PEA-SRI initiative, not only sowed the seeds of the rice revolution but also irrigated hope into the hearts of Benin’s agricultural operators. Each grain of rice harvested is a testament to what innovation, commitment, and collaboration can accomplish.
Dear readers, we warmly invite you to delve deeper into this oasis of agricultural innovation by exploring the complete document at:
Embark on this fascinating journey where agricultural dreams take root and blossom into a green and prosperous reality, thanks to GEA-Bénin and its PEA-SRI initiative.
Communication and Knowledge Management Officer