Workshop Series in Benin under BMZ Initiative “One World No Hunger”

Mon, 04/04/2016 to Thu, 04/14/2016

In the West African country of Benin soil degradation caused by unsustainable land management and climatic conditions like changing rainfall patterns is a severe problem for the food security of a majority of the population of Benin. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy of Benin, 70% of the workforce are smallholder farmers. Factors influencing the implementation of sustainable land management (SLM) are manifold and to be found both at farm-level and beyond, with socio-economic, cultural and political aspects creating the conditions that determine the access to and use of techniques for land management.

Farmers growing cash-crops like cotton are systemically privileged in terms of agricultural inputs, advisory services and support compared to those farming food crops for subsistence. How to support and improve sustainable land management practices fitting to different livelihood strategies of particular groups; what approaches there are to learn from, and what to avoid in future programmes aiming at SLM are questions that concern farmers, decision makers, scientists and development experts alike.

These and other questions on how projects of research and development cooperation promote and implement sustainable land management in the regions of Zou-Collines  in the South and centre  and Alibori-Borgou in the North of Benin will be explored in an upcoming series of workshops by IASS in cooperation with the Soil Rehabilitation Program of GIZ Benin funded under the BMZ Special Initiative “One World No Hunger”. The series of « Lessons learnt workshops » will start with a first workshop with farmers in the region of Zou-Collines on 31 March/ 1st April in Abomey, three more workshops, another one with farmers and two with institutional stakeholders will follow:

  • 4/5 April, Farmers, Kandi, Alibori-Borgou
  • 7/8 April, Institutional Stakeholders, Parakou
  • 13/14 April, Institutional Stakeholders, Abomey

These workshops bring together a wide range of stakeholders, decision makers from administration and government, rural agricultural service providers, civil society, NGOs, development organisations, and scientific institutions. Region specific problems and obstacles for SLM will be discussed from key stakeholders´ perspectives, with the farmers´ perspectives as the point of departure. This will be the basis for developing context specific approaches to overcoming challenges and contribute to building a network for decision makers and other relevant actors in SLM. Discussions are expected to contribute to identify entry points and possible actions for each stakeholder in the process towards effective and long-lasting SLM that serves food security.