Helping 800 producers feed 130,000 consumers

In Benin, weak promotion of local products, strong competition from imported products and the rapid growth of cities have altered demand for food. Urban consumers want high-quality products that are well presented and that cost about the same as imported products. Smallholder organisations are therefore looking for help to gain recognition and increase their negotiating power in dealings with buyers, particularly institutional buyers. Acting for Life works with producers and processors of fruits and vegetables to help them improve their professional skills, from production to marketing, so that they can gain access to new urban outlets and increase their market share.

Project overview

This innovative project was launched because Acting for Life and Servair (catering company serving airlines and organisations, with operations in France and Africa) both wanted to help smallholder families gain access to new markets. Acting for Life identified a group of producers in southern Benin called AMAP Bénin (smallholder-farming association), which produces and sells fruits, vegetables and juices that are certified as PGS organic (participatory guarantee system: quality assurance certified by local producers and consumers). To support the smallholder families of AMAP Bénin, AFL is helping create a sustainable partnership between the producer organisation and Servair Bénin, which supplies meals to a large catering network in the capital city.

In Benin and elsewhere in West Africa, Acting for Life aims to stimulate orders placed by public and private institutions for local foods in order to improve living conditions for smallholder families.


  • boost production and guarantee the availability of AMAP Bénin products thanks to new agricultural equipment and training in agroecological production and in food-safety standards;
  • improve the AMAP producers’ ability to negotiate and enter into contracts in order to boost their income;
  • get buyers to order organic and local products in order to ensure fair and sustainable commercial outlets for producers;
  • promote healthy, local foods in urban areas through events, such as “organic apéros” in Cotonou.

Key figures and results

  • The fruits and vegetables supply chain in Benin has become more professional, and new sustainable jobs have been created;
  • At least six tonnes of fruits and vegetables are sold each week through short supply chains, and the AMAP’s revenue has doubled;
  • The AMAP is able to meet Servair’s specifications and is entering into contracts with new buyers;
  • Urban consumers have better access to organic, local and healthy foods.


Video about the project:

Photos of the project

Project's local partners :

    • AMAP Bénin
      AMAP Benin is a cooperative that is dedicated to preserving smallholder and organic farming. It was founded in November 2008, and comprises 250 farmers over 40 hectares. It sells 300 fruit and vegetable baskets a week (3 tonnes of food) exclusively through short supply chains. An AMAP is an association that directly links farmers and consumers through short supply chains as part of a solidarity-based economic system. That system supports local farmers by pre-financing their harvest, and gives consumers access to seasonal products that were grown locally using techniques that are beneficial to nature and the environment.
    • Hortitechs Développement
      Hortitechs Développement is an NGO in Benin that was founded in 2005. It aims to promote:
        • the adoption of farming technologies (such as private irrigation) to make agriculture and horticulture more resilient to climate risks;
        • best practices for farming and production techniques for fruit, vegetable and flower production;
        • new alternatives for environmentally friendly organic production, such as integrated farming and organic horticulture;
      • the right conditions to support the development of competitive family-run horticulture businesses and promote urban and suburban farming.