Salim DARA

Organization name: Rural Solidarity

Type of organization: Enterprise

Country: Benin

Place: Porto Novo

Creation date: 1998

Number of employees: 8

Products/Services: Training in agricultural entrepreneurship and nutritious food production

Market (local, national, international): Porto Novo Mainly, rest of Benin, Togo and Nigeria

Type of clients:Women on the market, small distribution or processing companies and young people (for trainings)

Partners:Songhai Centre of Benin,4 higher education schools in Agriculture, 1 Fellow from Togo

Innovation

Through Rural Solidarity Organization, Salim seeks to reinvigorate the agricultural education system in Benin by training youth through professional experience and access to resources. Thanks to a practical entrepreneurship program and a holistic agriculture model, he provides students with the practical experience, confidence and resources needed to generate food and income from natural resources at their disposal. His first demonstration farm (on the outskirts of Porto-Novo) includes livestock, agriculture and fish farming. Products are sold to the adjacent market to promote the short cycle. In order to develop his concept, Salim builds partnerships with schools and universities, offering students the opportunity to discover the agricultural entrepreneur profession. He promotes youth self-employment through the creation of integrated agricultural enterprises. His aim is to encourage politicians, entrepreneurs, graduates and non-graduates to value vocational education rather than general education.

Strategy

  • Unemployed youth training in agricultural entrepreneurship (mental Training – “Learning by doing” – Participatory method by group learning)
  • Implementation of an efficient integrated system that allows to produce both animal and plant species
  • Upgrading local resources and production at lower cost.
  • Counseling and support to young people
  • Production of nutritious food marketed in the region, through “Les Jardins du Roi” brand.

Social Impact

  • Impact on the region employment and economic situation.
  • Opportunity for people to access healthy food
  • Trained more than 1400 students in agricultural practices since 2010 and hosted more than 120 interns, opening in a near future of a second center in Djougou area
  • Approach adopted by two denominational centers, including Jean Bosco Center

Challenges

  • Scaling up agricultural entrepreneurship training and distribution of nutritious products by L”es Jardins du Roi”
  • Fish Conditioning

Objectives

  • In the short term, have facilities to accommodate trainees. This will allow the organization to host trainees from other regions and extend the impact of Rural Solidarity at the same time.
  • In the long term, open a garden similar to “Les Jardin du Roi” in Djougou. This would increase the production of Rural Solidarity and propose healthy food to more people.
  • Develop Moringa production through “Les Jardins du Roi”, which is a nutritious and promising product.

Needs

  • Improving necessary infrastructure such as increased capacity for long stays and
  • Equipment purchase for drying and smoking fish.