Benin

Last updated: January 2019
  • Region Western and Central Africa
  • UPOV membership status UPOV member through the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
  • Participation in OECD Seed Schemes No
  • ISTA accredited member laboratories No
  • GM crop approval for cultivation No
  • Law on Plant Variety Protection Annex X of the 1999 agreement revising the Bangui Agreement on the creation of the OAPI
Seed sector in Benin

From 1978 to 1984, eight government-established seed production farms were created under the direction of the Centres d’Action Régionale pour le Développement Rural. A study carried out in 1989 led to the restructuring of the sector with the implementation of a national seed plan for 1990–1995. This plan, which reduced the number of government operated seed farms to three, affirmed the need for certified seed production and aimed to open a window for private players to enter the seed market. Toward the end of this period, a second plan was drawn up for 1995–2000, followed by further restructuring of the seed sector. Large federal and national umbrella organizations have a dominant role in structuring seed-producing cooperatives. This role has its roots in the dismantling of the Société Nationale pour la Promotion Agricole (SONAPRA), a state-run company that coordinated 90% of the commercial seed sector until 2008.

Despite national initiatives to restructure the seed sector, the timely availability of quality seeds remains a constraint faced by farmers. In Benin, cooperatives dominate seed production and supply systems. Except for companies importing vegetable seeds, few enterprises operate in the formal seed sector. Only in recent years have several producers started formalizing themselves as a seed company. Benin Semences and Accueil Paysan are two of the companies importing vegetable seeds. Other larger companies, such as FAS and Mont Cassado, focus on field crop seed production and dissemination, while those such as Prochimat and Dallas Cyties mainly focus on seed distribution. All active companies focus on their home market, with relatively little seed distribution crossing borders.

Observations

There are five index companies in Benin. East-West Seed is the only one with breeding activities while Technisem is alone in providing extension services.

Two index companies produce seeds in the country, though neither involves smallholders in seed production.

Index company activities identified in Benin
Company Crops in portfolio Company activities in country
Companies selected for
the Access to Seeds Index
Field
crops
Vegetables Breeding
location
Testing
location
Seed
production
Processing
location
Sales Extension
services
East-West Seed
Rijk Zwaan
Sakata
Seed Co
Technisem

Other companies identified in the regional landscaping study and their activities.

Company Crops in portfolio Company activities in country
Field
crops
Vegetable
crops
Breeding
location
Seed
production
Sales
Benin Semences
Accueil Paysan
FAS
Prochimat
Mont Cassado
Dallas Cyties

Leading seed producing cooperatives highlighted in cooperative study

Company Crops in portfolio Company activities in country
Field
crops
Vegetable
crops
Testing
location
Seed
production
Sales
Association Nationale des Semenciers du Benin (ANASEB)
Fédération nationale des producteurs de semences (FNPS)
Association Nationale des Femmes Agricultrices du Bénin (ANAF)