The Republic of Benin is a low-income, food–deficit country with an estimated population of 11.2 million, who are predominantly rural. A politically stable democracy since 1990, with a socio-political environment that is friendly and conducive to business, the country nevertheless ranked 163 of 189 countries on the 2018 Human Development Index and still faces development challenges, including food insecurity, malnutrition and gender inequalities.
More than 70 percent of the population depends on employment in the agricultural sector, which accounts for 25 percent of the GDP. However, productivity is low, farmlands are small, and since the 2008 crisis, food prices have maintained an upward trend which affects people’s ability to buy food. In order to cope, families are often forced to sell crops at low prices and reduce the quantity and quality of food they consume, which further exacerbates food insecurity and malnutrition.