Benin - Alliance Bioversity International - CIAT

The Republic of Benin (formerly known as Dahomey) is a West African country located on the Gulf of Guinea, neighboring with Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, and the Atlantic Ocean.  

Benin’s landscape is dominated by lowlands, with the lowest-lying areas barely above sea level in the south, and the highest areas reaching approximately 600m above sea level in the north. Benin has a population of roughly 13 million people living predominantly rural areas, despite a growing rate of urbanization. The climate varies from humid in coastal regions to semi-arid Sahelian climate in the north. As a result, agricultural activity is also variable within the country, with arable farming being more common in the south and livestock rearing dominant in the north.  

In Benin, the Alliance has an office located within the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) campus, near to the University of Abomey Calavi and the National Institute of Agricultural Research INRAB. Since 1995, we have partnered with various local and international institutions to support the sustainable development of agriculture, environment and food systems in Benin, contributing to improved nutrition through approaches based on the valorization of local resources and potentialities. 

Partnership Networks

Our Thematic Areas of Focus in Benin 

  • Nutrition and Diet Diversification: Projects such as ‘HD4A - Healthy Diets for Africa’ and ‘FRESH - Fruit and Vegetables for Sustainable Healthy Diets’ focus on diversifying diets to combat malnutrition and improve health

  • Climate-Smart Agriculture and Resilience: Initiatives such as ‘RAAF-(Nigeria-ECOWAS)-Promote Climate-Smart Agriculture’ and ‘CORAF (SWITZERLAND-SDC)-Promoting Adoption of Climate-Smart Agriculture’ aim to promote climate-resilient agricultural practices.  

  • Food Systems Transformation: Projects such as ‘HFA – Healthy Food Africa’ and ‘Food Africa’ work to transform food systems by increasing sustainability, equity, and resilience.  

  • Knowledge Management and Decision Support: Initiatives such as ‘CDE (GERMANY-GIZ)-Knowledge Management’ emphasize knowledge management and decision support for soil protection and rehabilitation initiatives.  


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Pioneering climate-smart agriculture: RAAF and CORAF initiatives promote resilient farming practices in Benin. Credit: Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT/GeorginaSmith   

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Combatting banana bunchy top disease in Benin: Our innovative approach integrates remote sensing and digital techniques to empower farmers and communities in pest management decisions. Credit: Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT 

  • Consumer Behavior and Market Access: Projects such as ‘Enhancing Consumer Demand’ and ‘SHiFT’ aim to understand consumer behavior and increase demand for sustainable healthy diets. 

  • Pests and disease management: our work on banana diseases control has focused, since 2015, on managing the invasive banana bunchy top disease using remote sensing and digital techniques to support farmer decisions and spur collective response at community levels. 

  • Crops for Nutrition and Health: Bean-based product profile, breeding/bean product development, access and test new bean germplasm, Coordinate breeder and basic seed production, and Support bean establishment corridors and value chain actors within each corridor. 

Impact of our Work in Benin 

The impact of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT's work in Benin is multifaceted and far-reaching, contributing to various aspects of agricultural development, food security, and environmental sustainability in the country. 

  • Improved Nutrition and Health: Through initiatives such as HD4A and FRESH, the Alliance has played a key role in diversifying diets and increasing access to nutritious foods. This has reduced malnutrition rates and increased health in many communities in Benin. 

  • Climate Resilience: The Alliance's efforts to promote climate-smart agriculture through RAAF and CORAF have increased resilience among farmers and ecosystems.  

  • Sustainable Food Systems: Initiatives such as HFA – Healthy Food Africa and Food Africa have contributed to the transformation of food systems in Benin towards sustainability, equity, and resilience. 

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Building climate resilience: Alliance initiatives RAAF and CORAF enhance agricultural sustainability and ecosystem resilience in Benin. Credit: Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT/GeorginaSmith 


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Empowering vegetative crop seed systems in Benin through Seed Equal Initiative. Credit: Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT/StephanieMalyon 

  • Knowledge Sharing and Capacity Building: The Alliance's focus on knowledge management and decision support, exemplified in projects like CDE-Knowledge Management, has led to improved capacity among stakeholders involved in agricultural activities in Benin.  

  • Empowerment and Livelihoods: Initiatives to enhance consumer demand (such as the ‘Enhancing Consumer Demand’ and improve market access (such as ‘SHiFT’) have contributed to the empowerment of farmers and value chain actors in Benin.  

  • Seed Systems: supporting policy, technological and policy barriers in supporting seed systems for vegetative crops. This has been an ongoing collaboration initially under CRP- Seed Systems since 2014 and later under Seed Equal. 


  • Achieving a measurable increase in consumer demand for nutritious underutilized species through targeted awareness campaigns and market interventions.
  • Successful adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices by a significant number of farmers, leading to enhanced resilience against climate change and improved agricultural productivity. 

  • Establishment of robust knowledge-sharing platforms and capacity-building programs that have empowered local stakeholders including farmers, researchers, and policymakers, providing the necessary skills and information to make informed decisions and implement effective interventions.

  • Tangible progress in diversifying food systems through the introduction of new crop varieties, innovative farming techniques, and value chain development, leading to improved nutrition outcomes and enhanced food security.


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Empowering Benin's farmers through knowledge-sharing and capacity-building initiatives. Credit: Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT/GeorginaSmith 

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Breaking barriers in banana seed systems for smallholder farmers in Benin under the Prossiva initiative. Credit: Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT 

  • Strengthening partnerships with local organizations, government agencies, and international donors, fostering collaborative efforts and collective action towards achieving common goals in agricultural development and sustainability 

  • Development of decision support tools for crop disease management – use of mobile phones and UAVs to support rapid disease diagnosis and overcome gender linked barriers in crop disease access. 

  • Banana seed systems work ongoing in Benin – Under Prossiva, overcoming institutions, technological and marketing barriers in making seed systems work for vegetatively propagated crops among small holder farmers. 

Projects and Flagship Initiatives

In the realm of agricultural development and sustainability, the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT leads a variety of projects and flagship initiatives in Benin.

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Our office in Benin

c/o IITA Campus, Abomey Calavi
08 BP 0932 – Cotonou
Phone: +229 21 35 01 88 (ext 293)
Cellphone: +229 61400774
Contact person: Aman Bonaventure Omondi ( [email protected] )

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