Building local coalitions to fight postharvest loss in Benin

Project:  Building local coalitions to fight postharvest loss in Benin

Status: Running

Start: 1 November 2017


Commissioning party: Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Partners: AgriProFocus, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research

Organizations involved: 

In 2016 Buck Consultants International executed a first study on the opportunities for support, partnerships and investments for Dutch companies in Benin and Nigeria, focusing on postharvest and agrologistic aspects. For follow-up and dissemination of the results two workshops were organized: one in Benin by AgriProFocus and one in the Netherlands by the Postharvest Network. The workshop in the Netherlands revealed that despite ongoing interventions in Benin Dutch companies see the time as not being ripe yet for investing in the country and rolling out their business there. This is mainly due to a relatively small-scale market, insufficient infrastructure and long and bureaucratic administrative processes. This sentiment was also echoed by the Dutch Embassy in Benin.

However, Benin itself knows a number of initiatives on postharvest loss reduction (directly or indirectly), the topic is gaining momentum and this offers a great opportunity to support and accelerate local processes, bring actors together around this topic and start creating a local Community of Practice on postharvest losses. The greatest gain for the local community as well as for Dutch interests is seen in bringing actors together around this topic, facilitating exchange and learning and thus create a local Community of Practice to plant the seed for larger action on the ground. Also, by explicitly addressing the issue of postharvest losses, this topic will gain more direct attention where currently it sometimes is still more of a side-topic.

Based on an inventory of main actors, topics and challenges in the value chains of tomato, pineapple and aquaculture a first workshop was organized in December 2017 in Cotonou with actors of those value chains as well as the enabling environment in order to commonly discuss the challenge of postharvest losses, to exchange current innovations and practices and prepare for further steps and partnerships. ou can find the report HERE.

2018 will see the further continuation of this work in building local coalitions for the reduction of postharvest losses.