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Benin

14

Projects Includes planned, ongoing and closed projects

US$ 507.85 million

Total Project Cost

US$ 214.21 million

Total IFAD financing

524,400

Households impacted


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The Context

Located in West Africa, Benin has a long frontier with its eastern neighbour Nigeria, and is bordered by Togo to the west and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north.

Many of Benin’s estimated 10 million people live in the port city of Cotonou, on the Gulf of Guinea.

The population is growing at 3.5 per cent a year and 56 per cent is rural. Around 60 per cent of people are aged 15-35. The pace of population growth is a big challenge: Benin is one of the poorest countries in the world, and its 2014 Human Development Index of 0.476 ranks it 169th of 187 countries

International support, and economic and structural reforms have helped Benin achieve growth in Gross Domestic Product of 4 to 5 per cent a year over the past two decades, but poverty is gradually increasing, reaching 40.1 per cent in 2015. Poverty is lower among female-headed households yet women are more vulnerable and lack economic opportunities.

Agriculture generates around 70 per cent of employment and 30 per cent of GDP, but is dependent on rainfall and vulnerable to climate change. An estimated 550,000 smallholdings averaging 1.7 hectares dominate subsistence farming of cereals and tubers.

A chronic lack of jobs in rural areas spurs youths to migrate to urban areas. Market gardening is a major direct and indirect source of jobs for young people and women in towns, their environs and rural areas, and has scope for development to meet a shortage of vegetables throughout the sub-region.

The Strategy

In Benin, IFAD loans support the Government in reducing poverty and improving the livelihoods of poor rural people.

Activities target the most disadvantaged households in rural areas. Our approach is based on the use of local service providers to support communities.

Key activities include:

  • improving access by small- and medium-sized rural operations to adapted financial services;
  • improving income for smallholder farmers and vegetable growers and enhancing  resilience to climate change through their integration into sustainable value chains for production, distribution and sale of flowers, rice, soya, pineapple, cassava, and maize;
  • helping farmer organizations and local associations take part in steering and managing economic development within their communes.

Country Facts

About 44 per cent of the people of Benin live in urban areas which are concentrated in the south.

Agriculture plays an important role in Benin's economy, generating 70 per cent of employment and 30 per cent of GDP.

Cotton is a vital cash crop, providing 5 per cent of GDP and 27 per cent of exports.


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Country documents

Republic of Benin Country strategic opportunities programme 2018-2022

Type: Country Strategic Opportunities Programme
Region: West and Central Africa

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Related news

Benin and IFAD to boost food and nutrition security and create jobs for rural people

February 2019 - NEWS
Over 51,000 households in Benin will benefit from a US$104.4 million project that aims to reduce rural poverty through a value chain approach, which can contribute to reducing food imports and improving the competitiveness of small farmers’ products in national and global markets.

IFAD provides US$17.92 million to Benin for the Rural Economic Growth Support Project

December 2014 - NEWS
Rome, 21 July 2009 – A US$8.96 million loan and US$8.96 million grant from IFAD to the Republic of Benin for the Rural Economic Growth Support Project

Le Président du FIDA, Kanayo F. Nwanze en visite officielle au Bénin

June 2014 - NEWS
L'agriculture, la sécurité alimentaire et l'emploi pour les jeunes en milieu rural au centre des discussions avec les autorités béninoises Rome,3 janvier

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Related stories

Celebrating International Youth Day 2015

April 2016 - STORY

Today's generation of young people – defined by the United Nations as those aged 15 to 24 – is the largest in history.

An estimated 87 per cent of the world's young people live in developing countries, and the majority live in rural areas.

However, in the world's poorest countries, opportunities for youth are often limited or non-existent, leaving them  marginalized politically, economically and socially.

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Related publications

Policy case study - Benin: Farmers’ organizations interview presidential candidates on agricultural development

November 2016
In Benin, agriculture plays a central role in the national economy, contributing 32 per cent of GDP and employing a large part of the workforce. Despite significant productive potential and a diversified agricultural sector (crop production, livestock, non‑timber forest products, fisheries), the country relies heavily on imports of food products, which represent 25 per cent of the total value of imports.

Investing in rural people in Benin

January 2014
Depuis 1981, le FIDA a financé 12 projets et programmes au Burkina Faso pour un montant total de 158,6 millions de dollars des États-Unis. 

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Related videos

Connecting remote rural communities with financial services

January 2017 - VIDEO
6 January 2017 - Remittance flows to and within Africa amounted to more than US$65 billion in 2016 and are expected to grow to US$80 billion by 2020. These flows represent a lifeline for more than 200 million people.