Remaining true to its original mandate of facilitating agricultural promoters’ access to credits from banks and decentralized financial systems, the National Agricultural Development Fund (FNDA) has initiated a workshop for the benefit of the National Union of Soybean Producers (UNPS) on Credit for Bulk Input Purchase. Conducted from 24 to 25 March 2022 at Jeco Hotel in Dassa-Zoumè, this workshop aims to implement this agricultural financing label in other departments for the 2022-2023 agricultural year.
Initiated since 2019 and, in its pilot phase since then, the Credit for Bulk Input Purchase whose objective is to provide producers with input kits consisting of certified seeds, inoculum, specific fertilizers and herbicides (SOJA PLUS) on a timely basis and in the form of credit to be reimbursed at the end of the campaign according to the procedures of the FECECAM, intends to be more competitive. To extend this offer to departments that have not yet benefited from it, especially for the 2022-2023 agricultural year, soybean producers and the National Agricultural Development Fund (FNDA) consulted with the National Union of Soybean Producers (UNPS) from 24 to 25 March 2022. During these two days of exchanges both parties had to discuss FNDA’s support for strengthening and scaling up the CAIG. According to Salimatou Bouegui, the CAIG Supervisor, this is a new financing product designed and tested by the Union in the department of Borgou, with a success that deserves to be popularised. This form of credit that UNPS plans to extend to the departments of Alibori, Donga, Atacora, and Collines with the support of the Green Innovation Centre Project (Pro Civa) of the German Cooperation is intended only for soybean producers who are members of a cooperative or group.
Covering 50,000 hectares for the 2022-2023 season
In addition to clarifying the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in scaling up the CAIG, this workshop also allowed participants to discuss the prospect of improving the offer. Speaking on occasion, the Executive Director of UNPS, Fortuné Biaou, did not overlook the merits of this initiative. “In terms of area, Benin as a whole has now more than 300,000 hectares. As a network, we cover more than half of this area. But barely 15 thousand hectares are covered by agricultural credits,” he said. He believes that the scaling up of such a credit tool requires not only a precise strategy and committed actors, but also funding from the FNDA through its partner the FECECAM. “Theoretically, our ambition is to reach nearly 6 billion to cover up to 50,000 hectares,” he told the various actors. Committed to promoting agricultural sectors through its financing mechanisms, the FNDA, through its Operation Manager, Abdou Djalil Djibril, reiterated its readiness to support the development of the soybean sector, like other sectors. “The FNDA intends to remove the main bottlenecks, namely high interest rates. The preferential rate negotiated with FECECAM will be applied to this model. The FNDA will share the risk of fundraising with the FECECAM through an additional guarantee. We can also support UNPS regarding other aspects such as helping them have storage infrastructures,” he assured. It is therefore a new era for the development of the soybean sector in Benin.