Benin's National Agricultural Census: Results of the basic module officially available
The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Gaston Cossi DOSSOUHOUI presided over the official presentation ceremony of the basic module of the National Agricultural Census carried out for the very first time by Benin with funding from the national budget on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at the Azalaï Hotel in Cotonou. It was in the presence of his colleague Mrs. Eleonore YAYI LADEKAN, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the resident representative of the FAO, the Prefect of the Littoral Department and several actors of the sector.
Indeed, after several unsuccessful attempts by previous Governments, it was only in 2016 that the Government of President Patrice TALON decided not only to decisively ensure the full financing of the operation for an amount of 3.021,450,235 FCFA, but to work effectively on its implementation according to international standards with the support of the FAO.
The financing of the RNA from its own resources is clear proof of the importance of agriculture in the economic and social life of our country and of the need to reveal its contours.The Minister, Gaston DOSSOUHOUI, said that the need to reveal the contours of agriculture in order to better steer the management of the agricultural sector and, more globally, of development.
For the President of the National Commission for the Supervision of the RNA, Mr. Alastaire ALINSATO, agriculture is an age-old activity that has always given rhythm to the daily life of our ancestors and which is still alive today.Today, it is still a major sector of our contemporary economy, as demonstrated by the results of the NAS.
After praising the commitment of the Government of Benin and its determination to have initiated and carried out for the very first time the ANR entirely financed by the National Budget, the After praising the commitment of the Government of Benin and its determination to initiate and carry out the RNA entirely financed by the national budget, the FAO Resident Representative, Mr. OBAMA OYANA Isaias Angue, noted that the results of the census will bring changes in the perception of agricultural activities: "Today, the Government and its partners have at their disposal a reliable information granary to guide policies, strategies and programs for the development of the agricultural sector."
From the presentation of the main results by the Director of Agricultural Statistics, Mr. Alexandre BIAOU, it appears that 926,539 households practice agriculture in Benin; the agricultural population is 6,506,980; 915,423 farms are counted with an average of 3.3 ha per farm; 700.000 ha of available land within these farms has been left fallow for a long time or is unexploited; less than 4% of farms are irrigated; 606,112 households practice livestock production; 49,990 households practice inland and maritime fishing. And some 3,464 others raise fish species.
Through the results of the basic module of the RNA, President Patrice TALON and his Government have just removed Benin from the list of African countries on the dark table of countries with uncertain agricultural statistics, says Gaston Cossi DOSSOUHOUI: "The realization of the RNA will contribute to a better evaluation of the national wealth attributable to the agricultural sector and provide reliable data for the elaboration of agricultural development policies and indicators on the living conditions of a large part of the country's households.
The Minister reassured of the commitment of the Government to continue in the dynamics to meet the remaining challenges related to the specificity of some points but also to the updating of data. A press conference was held by the Minister and the FAO Resident Representative to shed more light on the concerns of the media on the ANR.