The department of the Collines is located in the center of Benin and is constituted of six municipalities. Despite an important agricultural potential, 47% of the population live in a situation of poverty and the area faced major challenges: a high rate of malnutrition, a low competitively of the agricultural sector, degradation of the land and a growing land pressure.
The project for the support of agricultural development in the department of the Collines (Padac) intends to help municipalities and associations in the implementation of agricultural investments that are eco-aware. A particular focus will be be put on the markets and transhumance corridors. This project falls within the strategic plan for the revival of the agricultural sector and the national plan for agricultural investment. It endeavors to help the municipalities in the implementation of the rural land plans. Those plans would derive from the new Land Code and their objective would be ameliorate the securing mechanism of agricultural land and urban land.
The project Padac has four components:
- The access to agricultural investments in the communes. Those investments must be co-financed and sustainable (durability of the investments, sustainability of the production and transformation technics);
- The securing of land and the support to the communal management of land;
- The institutional support will enable among other things the collect and analysis of agricultural statistics in the department;
- The management of the project will cover the operating costs as well as the monitoring and evaluation of the entire program.
The consequences will be visible in many areas:
- Economic, thanks to the investments in the activities of production and transformation and to the land settlement, with an impact intended on the employment and small producers’ income;
- Environmental, a special care will be put on the evaluation of the environmental risks (included in the files to be constituted) by the project initiators;
- Social, the productive investments will help to make accessible the isolated zones and will touch underrepresented populations such as women and young people;
- Institutional, the securing of land which will help to favor more sustainable agricultural practices.
Even though fighting against climate change is not the main goal of this project, part of the public and collective investments will be dedicated to the adaptation/attenuation such as the construction of water reservoirs, or the development of rough areas , the preservation of forests or a better usage of routes.