Capitalising successful experiences of farmers’ organisations in the provision of economic services in Western Africa

The Component 3 – Provision of Economic Services – of the SFOAP Main Phase (2013-2017) is a new element of the programme compared to the pilot phase (2009-2012). Its objective is to support the development of economic activities or services of farmers’ organizations (FOs) and thus strengthen their involvement in value chains. The direct targets of Component 3 are mainly local FOs / member of national FOs, directly involved in economic activities and services to their members. Since the SFOAP is not an investment programme, and the particularity of its approach is to intervene through regional FOs, the component mainly focuses on supporting a limited number of cases / initiatives to analyze them, assess their impact and systematize the experience through the production and dissemination of knowledge.

In line with this approach and with the technical and financial support of several partners (e.g. SFOAP partners, GRET, Inter-Réseaux, the Comité Français pour la Solidarité Internationale (CFSI), Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), SFOAP, Agriculteurs français et développement international (Afdi), the Fondation de France, the Hub rural), the Réseau des organisations paysannes et de producteurs de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (ROPPA) is helping their members to identify successful experiences and good practices in terms of provision of economic services by FOs and systematize them for lessons learning, knowledge sharing, replication and scaling up.

This is done through the launch of competitive calls. The proposals by FOs are reviewed based on agreed criteria and the selected candidate FOs are financially and technically supported to further investigate and analyse their experience and systematise it by developing a knowledge product. 

This process has six major objectives: (i) put into practice a systematic capitalization process of practices, experiences and innovations by FOs in the agricultural and rural development sector; (Ii) value the experiences and knowledge of FOs in various fields and disseminate results achieved; (Iii) contribute to scaling up successful experiences and initiatives; (iv) collect information to define and/or strengthen the strategies and actions of ROPPA and their members in various fields, including the development of economic services, governance, education and farmer-to farmer training; (v) build the capacity of ROPPA by valuing the expertise of members; (vi) create a hub for capitalization on FOs in Western Africa for an efficient allocation of resources.

A first call was launched in 2014 and a regional workshop further organized in Accra (Ghana) in December 2015 for the sharing and exploitation of capitalization products. Based on the very positive results of this experience, ROPPA has decided to launch a second call in 2016 (see more here).

As an output from the first call, several knowledge products were elaborated. Each document describes the initiative by an FO by describing the context, actions and innovations to address identified issues, results achieved, factors for success and lessons learnt. Some of these knowledge products are described below.

  • De la découverte du rayonneur a l’intensification durable de la riziculture au Benin, le génie paysan à l’œuvre, promoted by the Conseil de Concertation des Riziculteurs du Bénin (CCR-B) and the Plateforme Nationale des Organisations Paysannes et de Producteurs Agricoles du Bénin (PNOPPA). The document describes the experience of CCR-B with the use of an adapted tool for rice transplanting developed in the context of the Projet d’appui à l’amélioration de la productivité des exploitations rizicoles du Sud Bénin. The use of this tool enabled farmers to double their acreage and improve their productivity;
  • L’expérience des boutiques d’intrants agricoles autogérés, promoted by the Association locale de Gestion du Marché a bétail (ALGMB) and the Association Nationale des Organisations Professionnelles d’Eleveurs de Ruminants (ANOPER). The document refers to the experience of the organisations in supporting self-managed livestock markets;
  • L’expérience des boutiques d’intrants agricoles autogérés, presented by the Fédération des Unions de producteurs du Bénin (FUPRO-Benin). The document refers to the experience of the organisation in supporting self-managed input shops within the context of the Projet Pilote d’Appui à la Sécurité Alimentaire (PASA);
  • Création d’une marque commerciale collective autour des poulets de Zado, presented by the Union Communale des Producteurs de Zogbodomey (UCPZ) and FUPRO-Benin. The document refers to the experience of UCPZ who, in partnership with AFDI, is improving commercialization by supporting improved quality production of local chickens;
  • Développement de micro entrepreneuriat des jeunes agricultrices et agriculteurs de la commune de Toro-Bossito, presented by the Groupement des Exploitants Agricoles du Bénin (GEA-Bénin). GEA-Benin is supporting  the development of local economy  by improving the entrepreneurial capacity of young family farmers. This is done within the context of the Projet d’Appui au Développement de Micro entrepreneuriat rural des Jeunes Agriculteurs de la Commune de Toro-Bossito;
  • Promotion de pôle d’entreprise agricole (PEA) système de riziculture intensive, presented by the GEA-Bénin. With the support of IFDC, GEA-Benin has successfully supported the development of Agricultural Enterprise Poles bringing together and building the capacities of the various actors on the white rice value chain;
  • Financement des activités de pêche maritime par les mareyeuses au port de Cotonou, presented by the Union Nationale des Pêcheurs Marins Artisans et Assimilés du Bénin (UNAPEMAB), the Groupement des actrices et mareyeuses du Port de Pêche de Cotonou (EDJATCHO) and the Association Nationale des Mareyeuses(ANM). The document analyses the financial mechanism put in place to support the transformation and commercialisation of fish;
  • L’organisation de l’approvisionnement des intrants maraichers et de la vente de la tomate « or rouge » de la Kara, promoted by the Union de Groupements maraîchers de la Kara (UGMK), member of the Fédération nationale des Organisations maraîchères du Togo (FENOMAT). The document refers to the experience of UGMK in supporting their members to face identified issues (e.g. the high cost of inputs and the poor sales) through the so called “red gold” initiative. UGMK developed a tomato marketing mechanism enabling farmers to access to fertilizers with reduced costs and market their produce with remunerative prices through collective marketing;
  • Accès au financement agricole des producteurs, promoted by the Mouvement Alliance paysanne du Togo (MAPTO), who developed a self-managed input credit system and supported the structuring of members in cooperatives;
  • Accès aux infrastructures de stockage des produits agricoles, presented by MAPTO. The document describes the initiatives of MAPTO, negotiating contracts with the Direction Régionale de l’Agriculture, de l’Elevage et de la Pêche (DREAP) for the reparation and construction of warehouses and the implementation of operations of warrantage;
  • Amélioration du revenu des femmes à travers la production de riz, presented by the Union des Groupements des Femmes Rurales du Togo. The document describes the experience of the organisation in facilitating bulk purchase of inputs for members;
  • La vente groupée de maïs jaune une solution aux problèmes d’accès au marché pour les petits producteurs céréaliers de la région maritime du Togo, presented by the Union Régionale des Organisations de Producteurs de Céréales- Maritime (UROPC-M). The document refers to the experience of the organisation in supporting members in the commercialisation of maize;
  • Mise en marché du maïs pour soutenir et accroître le revenu des exploitations agricoles dans les savanes, presented by the Union Régionale des Organisations de Producteurs de Céréales - Savanes(UROPCS), who put in place a number of services for the benefit of its members aiming to improve input supply, the quality of products and a better price for sales.



Photo credit: ROPPA

Document type: Case and country studies
Thematic Areas: Access to Services, Capacity Building, Gender, Knowledge Management, Markets and Value chains
Region: West Africa
Year of Publication: 2016