Azon CF, Fassinou Hotegni NV, Adjé CAO, Agossou CO, Sogbohossou OED, Nouletope H, Akotchayé OPK, Kékpè P, Aïsso C, Guirguissou MA, Dossa K, Agbangla C, Quenum FJB, and Achigan-Dako EG. Socio-demographic factors and ethnobotanical knowledge associated with sesame management practices across agroecological zones in Benin. Experimental Agriculture. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0014479723000078
Sesame is an oilseed crop and source of income for small-scale farmers, particularly in developing countries. In Benin, sesame production is poorly developed and the underlying reasons are still unknown. In this study, we investigated the sesame management practices, socio-demographic factors and ethnobotanical knowledge associated with sesame production, as well as the production constraints across four agroecological zones in Benin. In total, 370 farmers were surveyed based on a structured interview. Qualitative and quantitative data including socio-demographic parameters, management practices and knowledge associated with the crop, were recorded. A binary logistic regression was performed to explain the effects of socio-demographic parameters on management practices. The farm typology was generated through a principal component analysis followed by a cluster analysis. Cultivars were classified based on the seed coat colour and size. To assess the ethnobotanical knowledge related to sesame, use value, plant part used value and fidelity level were calculated. Our results showed that older farmers were more likely to practice intercropping than young farmers. In addition, male farmers applied more fertilisers and used more pesticide than female. Five distinct farm typologies were recorded in the four agroecological zones. Five different cultivars were recorded across the four agroecological zones. Sesame is mostly produced for local consumption as sauce and seed appetiser (mentioned by at least 73.23% of respondents). The seeds were the most used part of the crop. The lack of improved seeds, road impassability to the field, rarity of rain, non-availability of cultivable land for sesame production, lack of cash for farm operations were the main constraints to wide sesame production. We discussed the differences among farm typology and their productivity and proposed future research actions for expanding sesame production in Benin.
Keywords: agroecological zones; management practices; production constraints; sesame research orientations; Sesamum indicum; traditional ecological knowledge