Dr. Delphin KOUDANDE, the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Benin Republic recently received representatives of SOJAGNON -NGO to present the ProSAM project (funded by FARA through the PAEPARD project sponsored by European Commission), the ProSeSS project (funded by the NWO/Arf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands), and the agribusiness project under the African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN).
During the course of the meeting, the results and innovations achieved so far by ProSAM/CRF, and the involvement of Benin Agribusiness Incubation Hub (BAIH-Sarl) a private company, were also presented.
The delegation led by Mr Patrice SEWADE, Co-ordinator of SOJAGNON -NGO and accompanied by Mr Gbèlidji VODOUHE, Program Officer and Mr Martin AGBOTON, Research Assistant at SOJAGNON-NGO raised the constraints in soybean seed systems and the wish of the consortium to make the Ministry of Agriculture the flag bearer of the strategic plan for the development of soybean seeds sector.
Mr. Sewade explained that the Competitive Research Fund (CRF) of FARA/PAEPARD is a project implemented by a consortium of Beninese institutions in partnership with European partners (Wageningen University and University of Lisbon). He further elaborated on BAIH-Sarl which aims at turning research results into business for job creation for young people and especially soybeans processors hence, addressing the importance of soybean derived products in food and nutritional security and the strategy of dissemination of the results on a large scale.
Dr. Koudande congratulated Sojagnon for the initiative and time taken to share the results from the research. He also congratulated the members of the entire consortium for the outstanding work done and results obtained thereby expressing his interest for the soybean industry.
The Minister inquired about current stage of negotiation with AAIN, and especially, the financing of the business plan of women processors of Zogbodomey having stressed that: “youth incubation in agribusiness and the empowerment of women are essential for job and wealth creation for Benin’s government and for him in particular”.
Dr. Koudande was delighted with the sharing of information on research conducted by national partners (INRAB, FSA, FUPRO) in partnership with international research partners (WU of the Netherlands and ISA – Lisboa of Portugal) and under the coordination of SOJAGNON-NGO).
Further, he mentioned that soybeans will be included as a cross-cutting industry in the Strategic Plan for the Agricultural Sector (PSRSA, 2016-2021) framework review.
In addition to documents shared were posters and leaflets about stabilized soy-bean milk and taste enhancers made with soybean “afitin”.
Also at the meeting, the nascent collaboration between AAIN and Benin’s Ministry of Agriculture was spelt out thereby informing the Minister of the AAIN conference that will be organized from 4-6 October 2016 in Accra, Ghana.
PAEPARD/FARA, Sojagnon and its partners appreciates the Minister who is keen to support these initiatives by requesting the staff of the ministry to kindly support such efforts.