Contribution of traditional food products (Oil palm) to food security and income of rural communities in Southern Benin

Traditional food systems in Sub-Saharan Africa are changing mainly because of globalized food market integration. There is a knowledge gap about the potential value of traditional foods and diets for health. A dynamics of imported new food products substituting to traditional foods rich in vitamins and micronutrients is reported in various studies. However there is opportunity to valorize traditional food products. In Benin a study has been undertaken on palm oil a traditional food product and substantial source of incomes for farmers for its contribution to local economy. The objective is to analyze a performing value chain of palm oil to increase incomes of actors involved in Benin. A total of 60 producers, 30 processors, 30 sellers and 120 consumers selected according to some criteria. Value chain approach is used to identify the actors, the type of governance of the chain and the performance indicators. Results show that actors are diversified. Research and extension services and NGOs are support agents. Oil palm sellers yield the highest net margin among actors. Good quality nuts and oil are determinant in the demand from consumers. Contracts between sellers and customers and between sellers and processors are informal and market guide the governance of the palm oil value chain. Gender relations show that men, women and youth are key actors of the chain. Women are involved in the processing and sales. The study recommends a better access to product market and the need to increase the value added at each segment of the chain.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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