The economics of sustainable agricultural intensification, Benin

Man slashing vegetation

Changing Land Uses - Changing Livelihoods

Agricultural yields have been on a long steady decline in Benin. As farmers strive to maintain livelihoods and food security, remaining forests lands and other natural habitats are converted and cleared at alarming rates.

This trend has direct and indirect knock-on effects on people and nature, further jeopardising the long-term resilience of farm systems. Fortunately, there is a wealth of knowledge in Benin about Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices that can boost agricultural yields and lower pressures for land expansion. However, there are a number of factors - including political lock-in - that needs to be confronted in order for investment to flow into SLM.

Altus Impact is working with GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) initiative and a number of governmental partners in Benin to reveal the costs and benefits behind different farming practices. The assessment in the municipality of Banté include a landscape level analysis of how hydrological flows, carbon emissions and crop yields (of cashew and yam) are impacted by sustainable land use management practices that challenge 'status quo' techniques.

In the municipality of Banikoara, we are estimating the Cost of Illness from pesticide use and comparing the economics of organic and conventional cotton production. Costs to the public treasury of subsidising conventional cotton production are further estimated to allow ldecision makers better understand the implications of various agricultural policies on public finance and farmer's livelihoods.

Project outputs may be downloaded by clicking on below-shown links:

Case-study: The economics of conventional and organic cotton production. A case study from the municipality of Banikoara, Benin. Report for the Economics of Land Degradation initiative, 2017. 

Etude de cas: L’économie de la degradation de terre, le cas de la commune de Banikoara. Le coton est-il vraiment l’or blanc à Banikoara? Une publication de la Coopération Allemande et l'Initiative Economics of Land Degradation, 2017. Disponible sur

Presentation: The Economics of cotton production (July 2017). 



"We enjoyed working with Altus Impact, both professionally and personally, in the context of sustainable land management in Benin and Georgia. Altus has delivered two very robust and strong studies. These documents now provide substantial information and a reference basis for our ongoing work to promote sustainable land management practices with decision makers at national and sub-regional levels. We look forward to working with Altus Impact on other projects in new territories." 

Coordinator, Economics of Land Degradation Initiative

Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing

As part of the study,  Altus Impact has led surveys with farmers in the north and centre of Benin using Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI). CAPI allows for signficant time savings, improved precision during the data-entry process and better data sharing amongst project partners.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *