Biodiversity and Food Diversity of Farms Using Agroecology in Benin Cotton Areas

  •  Leon H. Akpatcho    
  •  Patrice Y. Adegbola    
  •  Jacob A. Yabi    


Farms biodiversity and food diversity of agricultural households are evaluated to understand some agroecology effects on cotton farms. This is a part of socio-economic analysis of the agroecological  transition underway in cotton zones of Benin. The surveys covered 509 farmers in 5 municipalities: Banikoara, Kandi, Ouassa-Péhunco, Parakou and Savalou. Data collected are crops diversity, livestock diversity, natural vegetation, trees and pollinators of each farm and the various food consumed within 24 hours before the survey on each farm. Scores obtained by farm on each criterion were used to calculate the farm biodiversity index and household food diversity index; and the averages by type. Student's Chi--square test and Kruskal Wallis multiple comparison test were used to compare index averages, to analyze difference between farm types according to their ''Test'' or ''Control'' status. Analysis based on ''Tool Agroecology Performance Evaluation (TAPE)'' method shows that surveyed farms are unsustainable (biodiversity index <50%) regardless of status, except farms of type 5 Test which have a better result and significantly different from the Controls. But their diet remains acceptable (5≥food diversity index<7); difference observed on most types except 1 and 4. This means that agroecology is not yet bearing full fruit in the study areas and that farming households are still vulnerable to food insecurity. However, there are clear differences between the types of farms and differences between individuals of the same type. These few disparities observed highlight the potential of agroecology to improve households’ food situation if the process is intensified.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.