Benin’s policy aims to promote the professional integration of young people into agriculture by strengthening technical and vocational training, facilitating access to financing and agricultural land, and supporting entrepreneurial initiatives. Specific programs, such as technical support and the creation of agricultural incubation centers, are in place to encourage youth engagement in this key sector of the national economy.

To strengthen this national youth empowerment system, TAAT, through its ENABLE TAAT compact, began its activities in Benin in 2021, aligning with the dynamics of the Beninese government. Throughout 2021, several initiation and capacity-building training sessions were organized. The targeted areas were identified based on the needs observed by TAAT and confirmed by stakeholders from both public and private sectors.

To better achieve its objectives, ENABLE TAAT has established and reinforced partnerships with public and private organizations working in the agricultural sector. These partners include the National Institute of Agricultural Research of Benin (INRAB), the Directorate of Plant Production (DPV), the Departmental Directorate of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (DDAEP), and the Territorial Agricultural Development Agencies (ATDA), all under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MAEP). Private partners, such as Benin Seeds, the Véto Services Group, and several seed production companies operating in Banikoara, Kandi, N’Dali, Kétou, Allada, and Abomey-Calavi, have also been approached.

In these six localities, 90 young people were trained in composite seed production, with 15 young people per locality. One-hectare plots were negotiated and made available to groups of young people to practice the theoretical knowledge they received. Throughout their production process, a team consisting of their trainers, mentors, and coaches from ENABLE TAAT coordination visited to assist them with major activities. This initiative resulted in the production of more than 12,000 tons of maize seeds, capable of planting over 600 hectares with an average yield of 3 tons per hectare. Groups of young people were also trained in the value chains of cassava, sweet potatoes, fish farming, and market gardening in the localities of Dassa Zoumé, Bohicon, Zogbodomey, Agoua, Djidja, and Tori. In these different localities, the program also facilitated the dissemination and adoption of new TAAT varieties and technologies.

Furthermore, an incubation center was established at the IITA Benin station to provide comprehensive training opportunities for young people interested in agricultural entrepreneurship. This incubation center, composed of five clusters (production of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, cassava, fish, seeds, and legumes), has already trained over 80 young people and facilitated the creation of more than a dozen agro-food companies across various localities in Benin.

Young graduates without jobs in fields other than agriculture have become specialized agricultural technicians, working independently and offering services based on the knowledge acquired during their incubation period. In total, more than 3000 young people have been trained in different agricultural value chains in Benin.

By 2025 and beyond, through its incubation center and the various facilities it offers, ENABLE TAAT aims to further strengthen the youth empowerment system in Benin and facilitate the creation and growth of agro-industrial enterprises.

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