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Launched on December 3, 2018, by the ACMA2 project, the work on the construction of storage infrastructure for the benefit of the Federation of Producers’ Unions of Benin (FUPRO), has been completed. On this formerly empty site of FUPRO located in Bohicon in the department of Zou, now stands a modern storage and sale infrastructure of agricultural products. The fully paved infrastructure is equipped with a 1000-ton-capacity central maize storage and sale facility, an equipped mini-lab, a maize quality control device, offices and conference rooms, post-harvest equipment to ensure the cleanliness and physical quality of products, a drying area, sanitation works, and parking.

Maize storage and sale infrastructure for inaugurated in Bohicon

With a total cost of 264 million CFA francs (approximately US $448,598), the infrastructure is financed by the Embassy of the Netherlands, with a contribution of 13 million CFA francs (approximately US $22,090) from FUPRO-Benin.

“This maize storage warehouse was built and handed over to FUPRO to assist in guaranteeing the market and nutritional quality of agricultural products and to increase the incomes of agricultural actors at the grassroots level,” explained ACMA2 Chief of Party Constant Dangbegnon during the reception and inauguration of the infrastructure on May 15, 2019.

Giving the keys of the warehouse to the FUPRO, in presence of the Agricultural Producers and a delegation of the technical partners, Constant Dangbegnon noted, “As the supply of products is fragmented and dispersed, it should be made dynamic for a real conquest of the market with quality products. The infrastructure and market facilities made available to FUPRO will promote soil fertility management options to intensify production and organize trade of quality products in order to facilitate the aggregation of stocks of agricultural products, for their efficient collective marketing, at a remunerative price.”

“We will properly use, fill, and make this warehouse profitable,” promised the President of FUPRO, Athanase Aguiya, explaining that the infrastructure solves many constraints that farmers face. The warehouse will serve 1,923 maize producers including 183 women. These producers are in the partnership of the delivery of maize to the Food Industries Company (SOCIA-BENIN) through the economic arm of FUPRO, which is the Cooperative of Inputs Distribution and Marketing of Agricultural Products (CoopDICPA).

To manage this infrastructure and ensure its sustainability, a management system is planned. This system consists of a Steering Committee, a Supervisory Board, and a Technical Team. The five-member Steering Committee defines the main orientations necessary for the management of the warehouse, including the necessary collaborations with the public and private structures for a better performance. The Supervisory Board, composed of three members, carries out periodic inspections, monitors activities, and evaluates the actions to be implemented. The Technical Team of three agents manages the activities around the store, the settlement of potential conflicts, and advises and guides the beneficiaries of the store.

This warehouse is the first infrastructure built under ACMA2. It is added to the 13 warehouses and two processing units already made during the first phase of the ACMA program.

ACMA2 is funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Benin and implemented by IFDC in consortium with CARE Benin-Togo and KIT. The program aims to improve the food and nutritional security of rural populations and increase the income of agricultural economic actors in 28 communes of the departments of Ouémé, Plateau, Zou, and Hills. ACMA2 intends to consolidate the achievements of Phase 1 (2013-2017), and facilitate access to local and international markets, especially Nigeria, for the benefit of producers, processors and traders of value chains organized into business clusters (ABC) in Benin.