A Learning Journey to Benin Republic with the HortiNigeria Program

On December 17, 2023, the HortiNigeria team facilitated a Learning Visit to Benin Republic, accompanied by key partners. Notably, Fauziyya Sadiq represented NABC Nigeria during this insightful trip.

19th of January 2024 Agriculture
HortiNigeria Learning Visit to Benin Republic

The primary objective of the visit was to grasp advanced methodologies in vegetable production and delve into research and development initiatives. This programme proved to be highly educational, offering valuable insights that hold significance for the field of horticulture.

Learning Visit to Benin Republic encompassed visits to five pivotal locations: the World Vegetable Center, GBios, Market Garden in Cotonou, Shonghai Farm in Porto-Novo, and the ACMA III project learning site at Doussa-Zoume.

The programme kicked off with the World Vegetable Center, situated within the IITA premises in Cotonou. Renowned for its dedication to vegetable research and development, the Center provided an enlightening session with Dr. Edmond Toti, one of its Directors. Dr. Toti shared insights into the center’s mission, ongoing projects, and its global impact on food security. Dr. Toti highlighted: “Our mission is to advance research that contributes to sustainable vegetable production globally.”

Subsequently, the visit was followed by stopping at GBios, the Laboratory of Plant Genetics and Biotechnology, located at the University of Abomey-Calavi in Cotonou. As the leading institution in the Benin Republic for plant genetics, biotechnology, and seed sciences, GBios plays a crucial role in advancing attendees’ understanding of cutting-edge agricultural technologies. Ms. Sadiq remarked, “GBios is a hub of innovation, with over twenty thousand seed banks, significantly broadening our knowledge of seed sciences and genetics.”

The next top was the Shonghai Farm in Porto-Novo, celebrated for its model of integrated and sustainable farming practices. Ms. Sadiq noted the farm’s unique approach, emphasising the maxim “waste is wealth.” She remarked, “This particular farm caught my attention because of the high use of the integrated farming system.”

The final stop was the Communal Approach Agricultural Market (ACMA 3) program site in Dassa-Zoume. The ACMA 3 program aims to enhance food security and agricultural income. Participants were warmly welcomed and immersed in an informative session outlining the program’s objectives and lessons learned.

Ms. Sadiq reflected on the transformative nature of the visit, highlighting the blend of theoretical knowledge and practical experience gained. She concluded, “It is safe to say the learning visit set the stage for innovative and sustainable practices in horticulture for the benefit of all parties involved.” This visit not only provided valuable insights into international collaborations but also laid the foundation for the advancement of horticulture.

HortiNigeria's Learning Visit to Benin Republic

About HortiNigeria

The HortiNigeria program (2021-2025), funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) in Nigeria, aims to facilitate the development of a sustainable and inclusive horticulture sector that contributes to food and nutrition security in Nigeria. The goal of the program is aligned with the Dutch and Nigerian food security and private sector development objectives and fits within the framework of the larger food systems transformation in Nigeria. HortiNigeria aims to enhance smallholder farmers’ social capital and contribute to their empowerment within the market. HortiNigeria particularly focuses its interventions on women and youth.

For more information, visit: www.ifdc.org/projects/hortinigeria/