BENIN – The government of Benin plans to inject 24.4 billion CFA francs (US$39.7 million) to offer subsidized fertilizer to farmers in a bid to boost production during the 2024/2025 agricultural campaign.

This financial support, however, shows a drop of 18.6% compared to the envelope of 30 billion CFA francs ($49 million) which was released during the previous campaign.

The Council of Ministers, who announced the government’s plan on April 17,  highlighted that the subsidy program will mostly benefit corn and cotton, which are the main crops in the country.

Under the subsidy program, the sale price of the 50 kg bag of NPK should be set at 17,000 CFA francs (US$27.7) against a market value estimated at 24,000 CFA francs (US$39) while the price of urea will be set at 15,000 CFA francs (US$24.4).

However, the price of 50 kg bags of simple superphosphate (SSP) and KCL potassium chloride will be sold at 14,000 CFA francs (US$22.8) as during the previous campaign. 

The 2024/2025 agricultural campaign was officially launched on April 19 in the commune of Kandi located in the north of the country.

In Benin, the agricultural sector contributes more than 25% to GDP and employs around 40% of the active population.

Confronted by the current food crisis and climate change, the Government of Benin has been taking essentially short-term and long-term measures, ranging from banning cereal exports to neighbouring countries, imposing export tariffs, standardizing inputs, and procuring subsidies for the farming population.

Recently, the Benin government decided to set up “Benin Company for the Development of Plant Seeds and Plants”, an entity mandated to “effectively” manage the national system for the production, aggregation, importation and distribution of seeds and plants.

The decision was approved by the Council of Ministers on January 24.

Specifically, the company would be responsible for promoting the development of seed and plant varieties and conserving strains of varieties adapted to user requirements and climate change.

The council established that the national seed system is dominated by the informal sector and inefficient supply methods, with growers taking seeds and seedlings directly from existing stocks in the fields for the following season.

According to official data, around 80% of seeds used by farmers come from an informal marketing channel and are not certified, which harms yield levels.

The council, therefore, deemed it important to set up a formal seed system to guarantee the quality of seeds and seedlings, with clear traceability from selection through multiplication to marketing.


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