Beninclusif - Dynamic markets for sustainable agricultural products

The main goal of the project is to improve living conditions for farmer families through sustainable market support services. The project’s inclusive systems approach focuses on two sectors within the poorly developed agricultural market. During the first phase (2021-2024), the focus will be on fish farming and citrus tree farming, both sectors having high economic potential. 
Littoral Department, Benin
Plateau Department, Benin
Zou Department, Benin
Couffo Department, Benin
Mono Department, Benin
Ouémé Department, Benin
Atlantique Department, Benin
Project duration
2021 - 2024

The project

Fish farming sector

Despite annual growth of over 7%, development of the agricultural sector is beleaguered by extensive problems. These include, among others, the use of rudimentary equipment, lack of access to high-quality inputs (fish fry and feed), stakeholders being poorly organised, and inadequate market access. The sector depends heavily on imports. Over 214,000 tonnes of fish are consumed annually in Benin, but local production constitutes no more than 50,000 tonnes, or 23%, with the remainder imported. This means a substantial loss of hard currency totalling more than 94 billion FCFA (15,667,000 CHF) each year.

Citrus sector

This sector benefits neither from state subsidies nor from any development projects up to now. The sector offers high potential, but at the same time it faces immense challenges such as weak organisation and collaboration between stakeholders, a lack of specific, appropriate inputs or adequate modern processing technologies, as well as access to credit to facilitate investment in modern equipment. Oranges, two varieties of which are planted, are the most important citrus fruit in Benin. There is barely any processing as the fruit is not well suited to it. Consequently, a high percentage of production is sold on to Nigeria in poor condition, or else improperly processed or simply rots, which results in considerable post-harvest losses.

The primary objective of the project is to improve living conditions for local actors through more jobs and higher incomes.

Fish farming

  • production and supply of quality fish fry
  • promotion of industrial feed and introduction of alternative inputs
  • modernisation of fish farming
  • introduction of innovations in fish farming
  • organising collaboration among actors in fish farming
  • improved market access

Citrus farming

  • application of fertilizer and plant protection
  • planting of new seedlings and thus the availability of improved orange varieties for nurseries
  • strengthening the technical capacities of nurseries, producers, and processors
  • organising collaboration among actors in the citrus sector
  • improved market access


Project areas: seven Départements in the south and southwest of Benin

Fish farming: Ouémé - Plateau - Atlantique - Littoral and Mono

Citrus fruits: Zou and Couffo.


To ensure effective implementation of project activities and achieve systemic and sustainable change, the project is applying a sector-wide approach through: 

  • implementation of new business models
  • monitoring and assessing results

Target groups:

Fish farming sector (30% women)

  • 2,000 fish farmers
  • 500 processors

Citrus sector (15% women)

  • 100 nurseries
  • 1,000 tree farms
  • 25 processors

Expected Results

Fish farming sector

Living conditions improve for the target groups as they increase their annual incomes by at least 30%.


  • Locally manufactured, high-quality feed will become available at a lower price than the imported feed
  • The larvae of black soldier flies are presented as a cheap alternative to expensive, important proteins used to manufacture this feed
  • The process of importing certified fish fry becomes faster and simpler, which improves the quality and availability of high-performing fry for fish farms
  • Private service providers supply modern production technologies to fish farmers
  • Clusters are set up in the fisheries sector to facilitate the flow of production
  • Private providers offer innovative fish smoking techniques to increase the capacities of fish processors
  • Private providers supply processors with efficient processing equipment that improves quality of their processed products.

Citrus sector

Living conditions improve for the target groups as they increase their annual incomes by at least 15%.

  • Improved citrus production through access to specific, locally-adapted inputs, provided by local businesses
  • Improved access to finance through the National Agricultural Development Fund (Fonds National de Développement Agricole, or FNDA) or microfinance institutions
  • Improved market access in the subregion through the lowering of tariffs and other trade barriers.

Financing partners

This project is part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, which is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA. 


Local organic inputs — a better alternative for citrus farmers in Benin
In collaboration with state actors, Swisscontact facilitated a partnership with ABC Grower — a business from the private sector — that produces organic inputs such as biological pesticides and biofertilisers. Citrus growers who use these new agricultural inputs are reporting on their effectiveness, yield, cost and the effects on their production. The project has worked with nurserymen and nurserywomen to improve young plants. Finally, it has facilitated the establishment of clusters that are beneficial to citrus farmers and people who work in citrus processing.
Local industrial fish feed: the key to affordable quality fish in Benin
In response to the sharp increase in price and poor quality of locally available fish feed, Swisscontact supported the substitution of fishmeal with protein-rich and affordable black soldier fly larvae (BSFL). This innovation was carried out with a research centre and private sector partners to improve fish productivity. The collaboration between these actors has led to a change in the behaviour of fish farmers and feed producers to produce the larvae of black soldier flies and use them as a protein additive.
Interventions of the Territorial Agricultural Development Agency (ATDA) Divison 7 in acquaculture
Under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, the decentralised structures of the Territorial Agency for Agricultural Development aims to develop and strengthen interventions on the links of the supported sectors.


Sustainable agriculture
New association formed to advance Black Soldier Fly Larvae farming
In acquaculture, staying informed about the latest trends and technical advances is essential to increase productivity and remain competitive. However, many fish farmers don't have access to this kind of information. One challenge they face is the high cost of fish feed. As a cost-effective alternative to fishmeal, Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) can be used in the production of fish feed. Swisscontact has supported the set-up of a network of farmers to boost the production and improve the quality of these larvae.
Sustainable agriculture
Involving women in the production of biofertilisers for a sustainable agriculture ecosystem
Swisscontact works to boost the fruit-growing sector in Benin through the development of local citrus with the aim of increased food security and reduced poverty. However, citrus growers often experience difficulty accessing the agricultural inputs they need to improve the quality and volume of their production, which hampers the citrus farms' profitability. To overcome these obstacles, our Béninclusif project works with public and private stakeholders to facilitate access to specific organic inputs, which are adapted to the cultivation of a higher quality fruit.
Sustainable agriculture
Promoting agricultural innovation in Benin
Since 2021, Swisscontact's Béninclusif project has been implementing inclusive agribusiness initiatives aimed at reducing poverty. It works with local partners to bring affordable and sustainable innovations to small businesses in the market. 

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