The technical team of the Beyond Cotton project, of the World Food Programme (WFP) Centre of Excellence against Hunger Brazil, together with representatives of the Brazilian government, the Federal University of Western Bahia (UFOB, in Portuguese) and the WFP country office in Benin, will take part in a technical mission to Benin to promote capacity-building with the objective of supporting cotton and food producers, in addition to carrying out actions aimed at food and nutritional security. The mission will take place between 3 and 12 February in the city of Copargo, Benin.
The delegation’s visit complements activities that are being conducted by the project team in the country, such as the implementation of training camps to demonstrate food production technologies, training on seed banks, contract modalities for institutional markets, databases that subsidise the construction of nutrition-sensitive value chains, among other actions.
On the first day of the mission, a visit to a local market, a school and a cooperative of family farmers who produce corn is planned so that the delegation can better understand the post-Covid-19 pandemic scenario and the current context of the country. In addition, this exploratory visit will help the mission members to understand the relationship of the Beyond Cotton activities with the pilot project of the National Integrated Food Programme, currently conducted by WFP and the government of Benin.
Beyon Cotton is a joint initiative of the WFP Centre of Excellence and the Brazilian Government, through the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC, in Portuguese) and the Federal University of Western Bahia, with the financial support of the Brazilian Cotton Institute (IBA, in Portuguese).
Workshops and training
During the week of the mission, there will also be trainings that seek to promote sustainable agriculture, food security and healthy nutrition. The schedule includes a workshop with male and female farmers on the design and maintenance of an Agroecological Agroforestry System (SAFA), led by the assistant professor at the Federal University of Bahia, Mario Alberto dos Santos. To consolidate the theoretical discussions, an experimental area of SAFA of cotton and associated food crops will be installed.
In the thematic axis of nutrition, UFOB professor Débora Porcino will conduct a training session with the school cooks about good cooking practices to diversify the food groups provided by school meals, besides improving the quality of the meals served, the nutritional value and the food preparation.
The activities conducted by UFOB will take place in a joint manner, aiming to highlight the relationship between food production, food security, and local purchasing possibilities. The dialogue between the actors responsible for the production, distribution and consumption of food made possible by the trainings and visits will be fundamental to observe which points can be better developed and interlinked in the constitution of Sustainable Food Systems within the scope of the Beyond Cotton project.