On Tuesday, March 6th, Dr. Augustin Aoudji visited ASE for an Academic Research Seminar on “Upgrading opportunities in agricultural value chains: Lessons from the analysis of the consumption of processed pineapple products in southern Benin.” A lecturer at the University of Abomey-Calavi’s School of Economics, Socio-Anthropology and Communication for the Rural Development, Dr. Aoudji shared the findings of a paper published last October in the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development.
Dr. Aoudji discussed the lack of processing of agricultural products in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, only 2% of Benin’s yearly pineapple production is processed. His research considered the “upgrading” of pineapples in the value chain into products like jam, syrup, cocktail, juice, and dried pineapples. Based on a survey of 250 randomly sampled household heads, Dr. Aoudji and his collaborators found opportunities to increase the price of pineapple products while remaining competitive. Improved traceability via certification could resolve consumers’ concerns about product quality, while higher quality packaging could address an unmet demand. This would require collaboration among a diverse set of stakeholders. Dr. Aoudji also considered the potential diversification of pineapple products.
This seminar was of particular interest to ASE students, many of whom are interested in mobilizing local resources to promote economic and agricultural development.