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Published as: Patrice Ygué Adegbola, Nestor René Ahoyo Adjovi, Elysée Houedjofonon and Serge Egide Paulin Mensah (2018) Socio-Economic Analysis of Promising Innovations in Benin. FARA Research Results Vol2(9)
Agricultural sector plays a key role in Benin’s economic development. Indeed, agriculture provides economic function by improving productivity of all factors and also by supplying raw materials to sectors as craft industry and food industry. Since 2008, government policies have been introduced and converted into concrete action plans (APRA 2011). The objective of these interventions is to contribute to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and poverty reduction.
Despite this important role, Benin’s agriculture is struggling to take off and cannot satisfy diversified agricultural products demand for a population that continues to grow over the past decade. Several technologies have been developed and implemented by Benin’s National System of Agricultural Research (NSAR) and some development projects and programs over the last twenty years. However, the results of Strategic Plan for Agricultural Sector Recovery (SPASR) revealed that priority sectors show decreasing output except vegetable crops (SPDAS, 2016).
The constraints to be overcome include lower soil fertility, use of rudimentary tools and inappropriate cropping techniques that have a negative impact on agricultural productivity. In order to meet these agricultural challenges, particular attention must be given to production and dissemination of appropriate technological innovations while respecting quality standards AS and sustainable management of natural resources. Adoption of modern technologies in agriculture is widely recognized for improving productivity and welfare of poor producers in developing countries and it’s a key ingredient for achieving poverty reduction, food security, rural development and a structural transformation. However, adoption of improved technologies involving improved seeds and mineral fertilizers is disappointing, especially in Africa (Evenson and Gollin 2003; Sheahan and Barrett 2014; Swinnen and Kuijpers, 2016).
To capitalize on research already generated by Benin’s National System of Agricultural Research, a study was conducted in 2015 with financial support of ‘’ Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)’’. It enabled the inventory and characterization of technologies produced and disseminated. It revealed existence of various technologies relating to crop management, inputs, equipment and new varieties or breeds. Most of the technologies developed (78%) concern technical issues. Technologies on agricultural equipment, use of improved varieties or agricultural inputs represent only 5%, 4% and 2% respectively. From different agricultural subsectors’ stand point, these technologies concern 80% of agricultural production, 12% of livestock and 8% of fishing (Adégbola et al., 2015). In 2016, a complementary study was commissioned by NIARB and made it possible to update, identify and characterize the technologies and knowledge developed by the NSAR from 1996 to 2016, this time including those generated in universities and agricultural academic centers.
This study revealed 260 hopeful technological innovations in fields of crop, animal and fisheries production (Adégbola et al., 2016). Vegetable production remains the most heavily covered area (80%), followed by livestock production (14%) and fish production (6%). Seventeen (17) agricultural sectors have been affected by these hopeful technologies. Sectors of meat, maize, vegetable crops are dominant in terms of hopeful technologies. Some socio-economic data have been collected on these technologies but are still insufficient to allow a good characterization for a better use.
Thus, the present study aims to fill up missing socio-economic data and to carry out socio-economic analysis of hopeful technological innovations developed between 1996 and 2016, in particular for FARA priority sectors, namely rice, soybean, small ruminants and poultry. It will make available to stakeholders in agricultural sector in general and those of extension in particular, a compilation of hopeful technological innovations for large-scale dissemination.