Posted by: africanpressorganization | 30 September 2009

USADF Signs Six Grants to Support Grassroots Development in the West African Country of Benin

 


 

 

USADF Signs Six Grants to Support Grassroots Development in the West African Country of Benin

 

 

COTONOU, Benin, September 30, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United States African Development Foundation signed six grants to support grassroots groups in Benin.  The grants will benefit L’Union Communale des Producteurs de Coton de Djidja (UCP Djidja), Conseil Regional des Riziculteurs du Mono-Couffo (CRR), La Perle d’Atacora, L’Union Communale des Producteurs d’Ouidah (UCP-Ouidah), L’Union Communale des Producteurs de Zogbodomey (UCP Zogbodomey), and ONG AGBENYIGAN.

 

After signing the grants, USADF President Lloyd Pierson stated, “These grants will increase member earnings while meeting food demands throughout the country.”

 

UCP Djidja
Based in Djidja, UCP Djidja is an association of 2,900 cotton and food crop producers.  The Association grows food crops to meet local food demand.  However, outputs are low due to the lack of best practices knowledge, and insufficient fertilizers and seeds.  The three year grant will fund office equipment, working capital for fertilizers and improved seeds, and training.

 

CRR

CRR is an organization of 2,200 rice producers based in Houndjohoundji, near Grand Popo.  CRR provides processing and marketing services and support to members to increase producer incomes.  However, CRR lacks the resources to increase its processing capacity and train members, resulting in members receiving lower prices for their rice.  The two year grant will purchase three hulling machines, scales, and trailers, provide training, and implement improved storage strategies.

 

La Perle d’Atacora

La Perle d’Atacora is a community ecotourism association in Koussoukoingou village, Boukoumbe commune.  The association provides home stays for tourists, caters food, sells local artisan products, gives tours, and advocates for protection of traditional architecture and biodiversity in the area.  Due to the lack of adequate lodging facilities, many tourists do not spend the night.  The three year grant will build a Tata Somba lodge equipped with electricity, running water, and kitchen equipment to meet the needs of tourists and increase revenue for the village.

 

UCP Ouidah

UCP Ouidah is a union of 951 horticulture farmers located in Ouidah.  The Union has successfully managed the provision of technical assistance to its farmers.  However, farmers’ production and incomes remain low due to scarcity of agricultural credit. Thus, production does not meet the high demand in Ouidah and other cities.  The two year grant will repair the storeroom and provide funding for working capital for production inputs and  training, and enable members to access loans from a local bank to finance improved  irrigation systems.

 

Zogbodomey

Zogbodomey is a union of 2,345 corn and soybean farmers whose members earn little from corn and soybean cultivation.   The Union will create a program to enable farmers to store their produce at harvest time until prices rise.  Stored crops will be used as collateral for loans from a local bank to meet immediate cash needs of farmers.  The three year grant will help build a storage center, and provide working capital.

 

AGBENYIGAN

Based in Kissame, AGBENYIGAN is composed of 45 affiliated groups with 625 members that promote income generating projects by local women’s groups and grassroots organizations to fight against hunger and poverty.  The rural women in the Couffo Department are unable to generate significant income from their main crops, maize, cowpeas and cassava due to high post harvest losses and poor processing techniques.  The two year grant will be used to purchase tools such as carts, presses, and stoves, provide training, and implement improved storage strategies.

 

USADF began programming in Benin in 1986.   Benin’s current portfolio stands at fifteen investment projects totaling $2.36 million.  For more information about the portfolio, please visit the country’s quick source page at http://www.adf.gov/USADF-QuickSourceCountryPortfolioPage-Benin.htm .

 

The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) is a United States Government agency dedicated to expanding access to economic opportunity in Africa. Currently USADF operates in 20 African nations.  For more than 25 years, USADF has directly funded nearly 1,100 African projects representing in excess of $150 million in support of African enterprises and local African communities.  For more information on USADF, its programs and application guidelines, please visit http://www.usadf.gov.

 

SOURCE 

The United States African Development Foundation (USADF)


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