Women groups formed in response to public video screenings on rice processing in Benin uri icon


  • When the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)(1) introduced improved parboiling technology in Benin in 2006 through farmer-to-farmer video, it enhanced women's creativity and motivation to parboil more and better the quality of rice. Their rice attracted more buyers and fetched a higher price which increased their profits and strengthened the women's social cohesion. The video motivated women to start parboiling as a group and to express group-based requests for credit and training. However, newly established women's groups in villages with strong negative experiences from the cotton sector did not last because of fear and mistrust. The video helped local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to improve their training methods and strengthened their relations with rural communities and between the women rice processors and input and output markets. Although these NGOs responded by facilitating access to micro-finance institutions, they were unwilling to provide credit to the groups because of past bad experiences. Instead, informal credit suppliers proved more responsive. Rice producers who attended the open-air video shows at the same time as the women rice processors became more willing to sell them rice on credit. We discuss the conditions and challenges of farmer-to-farmer video in creating organizational and institutional changes among service providers and rural entrepreneurs.

publication date

  • 2010