The BIOVALOR project entitled « Strengthening the competence-based approach and entrepreneurial culture in higher education in agronomy: enhancing professional integration and the development of the bio economy in Benin » is an initiative supported by the ANR and funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) within the framework of the Programme ‘’Partnership with the African Higher Education’’
Coordinated by Prof. Guido Rychen from the University of Lorraine and Prof. Enoch Achigan-Dako, from the Faculty of Agronomic Sciences at the University of Abomey-Calavi, this project aims to amplify the competence approach and its extension in terms of entrepreneurship to contribute to the development of the bioeconomy in Benin. It will focus on contributing to the development of sustainable agri-food production chains, for a healthy diet with a positive environmental impact.
More specifically, it will strengthen the following pillars in order to support the development of complete and operational bio-economic value chains:
– the skills-based approach: this involves basing the targeted training on the skills-based approach, which integrates (i) the definition of the targeted profession(s), (ii) the skills associated with the professions and (iii) the educational paths;
– entrepreneurial skills: Entrepreneurship training takes different forms. In particular, it involves Beninese and French students working simultaneously on an idea to transform it into a business opportunity;
– cash crops (e.g. rice, pineapple, cashew nuts): the need for training through research remains important in all value chains. The basis for collaboration and convergence of research in crop production and agri-food processing will be intensified;
– orphan crops (e.g. shea, fonio, miracle berry): a lack of knowledge that hinders the promotion of orphaned crops, which nevertheless offer a strong potential for domestic consumption and for export, will have to be filled.
In addition, the stakeholders of the above-mentioned sectors will take full part in the implementation of this project. To this end, they have already identified their needs in terms of human capacity development and research investigations in their respective sectors.
Planned over a period of 48 months with a budget of € 2,780,000.00, the BIOVALOR project is part of an evolving dynamic. It brings together professionals and academics from the universities of Abomey Calavi and Lorraine in collaboration with partner institutions such as CIRAD and the Institut Agro (fomerly known as Montpellier SupAgro).