Benin, which is also called Benin Republic or the Republic of Benin is a West African country that shares borders with four other African countries, namely Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Niger. The capital of Benin Republic is Porto-Novo but the largest city is Cotonou. Despite its small size, Benin Republic is home about 12 million people. Benin Republic is one of the largest producers of cotton in Africa and this alone accounts for 40 % of the national GDP.
In Benin, soybean production is mainly organised informally, on the basis of agreements between farmers and collectors or buyers. There are very few extension agents available to support farmers and disseminate production knowledge. For farmers, soybean is usually seen as a secondary crop often produced by women with the support of their children to increase low family income.
On the other hand, the demand for soybeans is constantly growing due to the diversity of uses and its nutritional value. Soya is an essential food to feed West Africa’s growing population, particularly in urban areas. New traders are now entering the sector, not only from Benin but also from other parts of the region.
The main objective is to take advantage of the growing demand to add value and move the product to new and higher-level activities along its value chain. This will create more jobs for women and young people. It will also help to improve the competitiveness of soybeans in a wider market.
Information and Communications Technology
Since the advent of the new political regime in Benin, the country’s vision for telecommunications and ICT has developed rapidly.
To reduce the country’s heavy dependence on imported ICT products, the government is actively encouraging the development of local solutions by software companies.
There is a need for the country to strengthen its ICT promotion policy from a gender equality perspective and thus encourage the use of ICT in different sectors of the economy and in households.