In West Africa, domestic investors acquire plots of farm land using their connections, powers and resources. Some policy makers view these investments as a shift towards agribusiness and state that these “new actors” will modernise and professionalize farming and smallholders are asked to make space. Who are those new actors, how did they obtain the land, under what conditions, and how are they investing? Why are authorities engaging in these land transactions and what are the consequences for local farming, rural livelihoods and the environment? This paper presents results of a 2010 survey on the acquisition of rural land by agro-investors in Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. It explores implications for agricultural “modernisation” and discusses local responses to regulate this phenomenon.
The study identifies the following challenges faced by cattle trade in WCA : (i) Securing regional cattle trade within a rather unpredictable global setting (ii) Satisfy the dynamic regional demand through domestic production (iii) Reduce persisting bureaucratic hardship (iv) Improve the organisation of the regional cattle trade while taking into account the strengths of the traditional set-up (v) Improve the governance of local cattle markets (vi) Improve the position of small-scale pastoralists within the value chain (Study in French).
Summary of a desk and field study done by IRAM, with as main objective “to assess the SNV positioning choices in relation to its contribution to food security and -sovereignty in West and Central Africa countries”. Results were: Definition of key issues in food security for vulnerable actors; Establishment of relation between SNV position choices and food security strategies for vulnerable actors; Mapping of both successful household and community strategies as well as government policies securing access to food, which are relevant for SNV; Development of an analytical tool that can be used to measure the contribution/impacts on food security and food sovereignty.
This report presents a desk study conducted in 2008 of the biogas potential in Benin. The energy situation in Benin is in serious need of action: the dependency on sources that are external and subject to seasonal and climate-related variations needs to be reduced urgently: commercial energy is almost entirely imported and is for the most part generated by hydroelectric systems.
Biogas is one of the options and it is identified as such in policy documents, although it seems to be seen as a solution for institutional and commercial users (service sector) in the first place and rather for generating electricity than for cooking.
The technology of biogas production has been introduced in Benin at least as early as the 80s. The various attempts have not been successful with the sole exception of the units installed by the Centre Songhaï on their integrated farm in Porto Novo.
The present desk study concludes that it is necessary to carry out additional field research in order to get reliable information about the number of households that have access to the required inputs on a daily and year-round basis. This research is to be carried out in selected communes of the Borgou, Alibori, Atacora and Donga departments where the largest numbers of cattle are found but where traditional transhumance practice is or was also most prevalent. Some communes of the Oueme and Plateau departments will also be included, because semi-zero grazing is practised in those areas although on a small scale only.