The United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is collaborating on a new initiative with Benin to boost production among market gardeners and create jobs for young people and women.
“Due to a lack of paid jobs in rural areas, increasing numbers of young people are moving from rural to urban areas every year," IFAD Country Program Manager for Luyaku Nsimpasi said. "Market gardening can be a very good opportunity to create new jobs. Markets for the produce grown exist in Benin and elsewhere in the sub region, in particular, in Nigeria.”
The project will invest nearly $50 million in 17,000 market gardeners, many of whom cultivate gardens less than one third of an acre. The package provided to growers includes market research; better access to and from their gardens through 75 miles of new roads; and help with collecting, processing and storing seeds and fertilizer.
The project will also invest in capacity building improvements for the produce processing and marketing sectors.
The IFAD has invested nearly $200 million in 13 projects in Benin since 1978, affecting an estimated 418,400 rural homes.