Training farm – Ferme Sokounon

Partner of the Hubi & Vinciane Foundation

The training farm Centre de Formation, Ferme Sokounon is an experimental and training farm in the village of Sokounon, near Parakou.

The site covers 37 hectares, with accommodation for the missionary brothers, a training room and accommodation for 20-30 people, a large water reservoir and small lakes, with fruit trees (citrus, mango and a large banana plantation), corn and rice fields, reception gardens, a chickenfarm , rabbit cages, oxen, goat shed and also bee hives.

This farm is managed by the French Congregation, the Missionary Brothers of the Countryside. These brothers all have degrees in agriculture. In 2014, the non-profit association “Friends of the Rural World” was founded by a group of local sympathizers and experts to ensure the survival of this farm. In the meantime, this centre has an excellent reputation in the region and every year about twenty Beninese agricultural students come to Benin to follow internships on the farm for a few months.

Since the set up of the Foundation’s agricultural program in 2010, there has been a close collaboration with the Sokounon Centre.

Since 2015, the Foundation has concluded a cooperation agreement. For the time being, the Foundation has mainly invested in innovative agricultural techniques, alternative energies and an improvement in the quality of by-products and their sale. This product range should ultimately ensure the self-sufficiency of the operation.

In the next phase, investments will mainly be made in the quality of training and solid accommodation for Beninese and foreign trainees.

In collaboration with the Foundation, the centre offers various training courses to local farmers that are accessible and very concrete. At the same time, new forms of agriculture are being considered with an emphasis on ecological techniques and innovative food production.

Capacity building of integrated agricultural activities at the Sokounon Farm.

During the period 2016 to 2018, investments were made in

  • The quality structure of the on-farm breeding programs; with 12 new rabbit cages, construction of the goat barn an purchase of Sanen dairy goats, 5 new hives, a large henhouse with breeding areas for chicks, adjustments to the henhouse and adjustments to the fish pond.
  • The installation of an irrigation system for the vegetable garden with 3 different types of irrigation with a large water tank and an installation of solar panels for the water pump. The irrigation system now also serves as a demonstration site for efficient water management.
  • An irrigation system for the banana plantation to optimize its maintenance
  • Improvement of the management of the operation, with the recruitment of a local manager.
  • Support for the provision of training to local farmers – small farmers, on various topics: animal diseases, soil rehabilitation, bee feeding, honey harvesting and conservation, reproduction, food and poultry health.

More than 500 local farmers have already participated in various training courses.

The Hubi & Vinciane Foundation received a subsidy of 19,950 euros from the Province of Flemish Brabant in October 2019 for the project “Expansion of the training center – Ferme de Sokounon“.

For more information about the North-South projects supported by the province of Flemish Brabant, please refer to the article on the website of the Province : 310.000 euro voor Noord-Zuidprojecten .

Consumption of goat’s milk in Benin: an avenue being explored

The farm of SOKOUNON contributes to the improvement of the population’s diet in terms of consumption of dairy products.

Honey project in Sokounon: on the way to organic food

In the Beninese tradition, honey is mainly known as a medicine. People use it for its healing power in case of wounds.

Ismael Bako on his first mission as ambassador of our Foundation in Benin

Ismael Bako, Benin-Belgian professional basketball player and ambassador of our Foundation, was in Benin from 2 to 7 July 2021.