Country Report Benin April 2008

The domestic economy: Cotton is doing better, but poultry receives a knock

Benin's agriculture has experienced a series of successes and failures in the past few months. In December and January the poultry industry had to cope with the effects of avian influenza (bird flu) being found in commercial farms outside Cotonou. These outbreaks, and their effects, are now largely under control. The agriculture minister, Roger Dovonou, announced in late November that the 2007 cotton harvest (picked in October-December) was 300,000 tonnes-20% higher than the 240,000 tonnes recorded in 2006. This was in part the result of improved payment systems to farmers, although the harvest still failed to meet the government's ambitious targets. The government's plan for the next cotton planting season is focused on improving technical skills and increasing the acreage planted further.

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