In Benin, a country situated on the West coast of Africa, the agricultural sector constitutes the drive behind its economic growth. Of the about 9 million of its inhabitants, over 56% depend on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods. This fact implies that farmland is of vital importance for the great part of the country’s population. Unfortunately, however, the livelihoods of small farm holders are threatened by the ongoing large-scale investments in arable land, which involve thousands of hectares of agricultural land. In response to this threat, the rural communities in Benin supported by transnational social movements organize to stand up against the rush on their farmland. This paper seeks to grasp the reactions of the local small farm holders by focusing on the forms and strategies of resistance to the rush on farmland in rural Benin. Hereby the role played by both national and international civil society organizations to empower these farmers will be analysed in order to assess to what extent this international solidarity is efficacious. In its attempt to achieve the goals set here, the paper will draw for the most part on primary data gathered in the field in Benin.
Nonfodji, P. LDPI Working Paper 41. Small Farm Holders’ Response to the Global Land Deals in Benin.The role of international solidarity linkages. The Land Deal Politics Initiative, (2013) 19 pp.