Message from the executive director

I am pleased to share with you, on behalf of the Executive Secretariat, the report of our activities during 2017. The year was marked by events and achievements that enriched our expertise and broadened our range of activities. For example, ACED strengthened its expertise in issues related to youth entrepreneurship and urban agriculture. These new capacities support our work in other areas such as inland fisheries and aquaculture, rural agriculture, adaptation to climate change, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and so on. In addition, ACED has developed its capabilities in knowledge management, both internally and in its projects and activities. In so doing, several knowledge products – such as policy and knowledge briefs, case studies, success stories, etc – have been developed to inform our stakeholders about good practices, on the one hand, and policymakers about evidence-based actions for effective grassroots development, on the other. All this has earned ACED the renewed confidence of its technical and financial partners who have continued their commitment by supporting our initiatives, and instituting organizational development to ensure greater impact.

In 2018, ACED will complete the implementation of its 2014-2018 Strategic Plan. It will continue to implement its initiatives and develop innovative solutions to the challenges faced by smallholders and vulnerable farming populations. It will also continue to strengthen and expand its partnerships. In 2018, ACED will kick off the development of its 2020-2024 Strategic Plan, which will guide the centre’s new strategy and activities. ACED thanks you for reading this report and invites you to discover more about its activities on our website.

Our activities in 2017

Turning waste into economic opportunities

Knowledge and impacts of ACED in the use of water-hyacinth compost in agriculture

Since 2015, ACED, in partnership with Gevalor, has supported the market gardeners of the lake Nokoué’s communities in southern Benin to improve their production and income by using water-hyacinth compost to fertilize their land. This initiative has made it possible to:

  • produce 1 880 tonnes of compost from 3 195 tonnes of water hyacinth collected from Lake Nokoué;
  • develop a new, less cumbersome and more efficient water-hyacinth collection technique, which uses nets to pull the water hyacinth into piles and to group them on the shore. This new technique has increased the productivity of water hyacinth collection by 39%;
  • develop technical procedures for the optimal use of water-hyacinth compost. These new technical procedures improved yields by 162% for chilli pepper, 42% for tomato and 120% for amaranth;
  • improve the average selling price of gardening produce grown using water-hyacinth compost by 19%, as a result of the improvement of the sales channels and the promotion of the produce;
  • improve farmers’ incomes and the autonomy of women.

Next step on valuing water hyacinth in agriculture

ACED has secured a grant from the CFSI and the Fondation de France to develop a strategy to scale up the sale of local gardening produce grown using waterhyacinth compost.

Installation of a digester in Sô-Ava for biogas production

ACED continues its research-action work on the use of water hyacinth and household bio-waste for biogas production. A digester is being built in the village of Gbéssou, in the Sô-Ava municipality, to supply a pilot group of 17 households with domestic gas produced from water hyacinth and household bio-waste.

Next step

After the digester is built, beneficiary households will be trained on the digester’s feeding process and the methods of using biogas bags at household level. This pilot experience will enable ACED to develop largescale initiatives to improve rural households’ access to clean energy.

Survey on inland fishery in Benin

Failure to comply with fisheries regulations and poorly organized fishermen hinder the development of inland fisheries

A study was conducted into the activities of 839 fishermen in the Lake Nokoué/Lagoon of Porto-Novo complex to analyse the customary and regulatory rules that support the sharing of water resources between these communities. The study found:

  • a significant proportion of fishermen (32%) living in a state of food insecurity, with households having access to no more than one meal a day;
  • numerous conflicts between fishermen, due to non-compliance with the rules;
  • a low level of organization between fishing communities. For example, 63% of fishermen do not belong to any organization. This situation could reflect a lack of confidence among fishermen in government institutions, mistrust between fishermen, and a lack of communication between fishermen and the leaders of the federation charged with defending their interests.

Next step

Focus groups will be organized with fishermen to formulate practical recommendations for improving water governance and resource-sharing in the Lake Nokoué/Lagoon of Porto-Novo complex. Alternative activities to fishing and fish processing will also be made available to fishermen and fisherwomen involved in the fisheries sector. Dialogue will also be initiated with policymakers and other stakeholders in the inland fisheries sector to exchange points of view about the challenges facing the sector that have been identified by the various studies carried out by ACED.

Report on the fishermen of Lake nokoué and porto-novo lagoon

A report titled “What does the fisherman want?” presents the key results of a study that focuses on the perspectives of inland fishermen in Benin. The report is accessible through the link below.

Knowledge is generated to build youth capacities and integrate them into agribusiness

To reduce the knowledge gap in mainstreaming youth into agribusiness, ACED has conducted a series of studies that have generated the knowledge needed by youth and the institutions that support them, in the agribusiness sector. Three main publications were produced in 2017:

  • a publication that maps the profile of youth interested in agribusiness. It presents youth profiles and capacities required for successful mainstreaming in the agribusiness sector;
  • a publication that identified and listed more than 50 business opportunities adapted to youth in the pineapple, poultry and fish sectors;
  • a technical handbook on agricultural entrepreneurship and business skills for youth.
Improving food security in urban areas

Allotment gardens as a solution to improving food security for vulnerable urban population

ACED focuses on the issue of food security in urban areas and has developed two allotment gardens in the cities of Porto-Novo and Abomey-Calavi. A pilot group of 40 participants from vulnerable households has been set up and provided with equipment for gardening activities. They have also been trained to produce vegetables that they can eat and then sell the surplus. The produce and income from this activity will enable them to improve their food security and livelihoods.

Next step

site selection tool to support the installation of community gardens in cities will be developed, and a study of the optimal form of a gardeners’ organization will be carried out.

Working to improve the link between research, action and policy

As part of its activities, ACED is developing a learning and innovation platform to facilitate participation and to elicit the views of all stakeholders on food security issues. This platform is organized in the form of a multi-stakeholder committee made up of representatives of all project stakeholders. This committee, which meets periodically, allows for the active and formal involvement of stakeholders in the research-action process. It also makes it possible to disseminate evidence-based solutions to relevant institutions to support policymaking.


Research reports

  • ACED (2017). Analyse des profils des jeunes dans le secteur agricole au Bénin : Les impératifs de capacités. Rapport d’étude. Abomey-Calavi : ACED.
  • ACED (2017). Opportunités d’affaires pour les jeunes au sein des chaines de valeur agricoles. Rapport d’étude. Abomey-Calavi : ACED.


  • ACED (2017). Fiche technique de production de l’amarante à base de compost de jacinthe d’eau. Abomey-Calavi : ACED.
  • ACED (2017). Fiche technique de production de la tomate à base de compost de jacinthe d’eau. Abomey-Calavi : ACED
  • ACED (2017). Fiche technique de production du piment à base de compost de jacinthe d’eau. Abomey-Calavi : ACED.
  • ACED (2017). Manuel technique sur l’entrepreneuriat et les capacités d’affaires en agrobusiness pour les jeunes. Abomey-Calavi : ACED.
  • ACED (2017). Guide pour le développement d’un plan marketing dans une entreprise. Abomey-Calavi : ACED.
  • ACED (2017). Comment mettre à l’échelle son entreprise agricole. Abomey-Calavi : ACED.
  • ACED (2017). Recherche de financement pour lancer et développer son entreprise : le guide à l’action. Abomey-Calavi : ACED.
  • ACED (2017). Tester son idée d’agrobusiness. Abomey-Calavi : ACED.

Case studies

  • ACED (2017). D’un produit de consommation traditionnelle à un marché moderne : Leçons de la start-up King of Soto du Bénin. Etude de cas. Abomey-Calavi : ACED.
  • ACED (2017). Jus de Moringa Assiba Fée. Etude de cas. Abomey-Calavi : ACED.
  • ACED (2017). Les améliorations observées avec les produits maraîchers sains obtenus grâce au compost de jacinthes d’eau : Etat du circuit de vente, des prix et des quantités vendues. Note de capitalisation. Abomey-Calavi : ACED.
  • ACED (2017). Les impacts du maraîchage agroécologique dans la vie d’un homme maraîcher. Etude de cas. Abomey-Calavi : ACED.
  • ACED (2017). Les impacts du maraîchage agroécologique dans la vie d’une femme maraîchère. Etude de cas. Abomey-Calavi : ACED.
  • ACED (2018). How a stakeholders’ committee can make a difference in the way of doing research? A story about developing allotment gardens in Benin. Abomey-Calavi : ACED


Technical partners in 2017

French Development Agency («Agence Française de Développement», AFD)

Amsterdam Centre for World Food Studies


School of Economics, Socio-Anthropology and Communication of the University of Abomey-Calavi


Forest and People Livelihood Research Unit - LABEF


Laboratory of Hydrobiology and Aquaculture at the University of Abomey-Calavi

Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries

Northern Great Great Plains Research Laboratory

Financial partners in 2017

French Committee for International Solidarity

Fondation de France

JM Bruneau Foundation

African Capacity Building Foundation

Fondation Veolia

French Global Environment Facility

Global Environment Facility

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

Presbytherian Hunger Program

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Promotion in International Cooperation

International Union for the Conservation of Nature - French Committee

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