Benin’s Council of Ministers approved, on February 2, 2022, new so-called short-term measures intended to combat inflation in the country. Inflation that touches the heights.
“Despite the good performance of our agriculture, which shows production levels of up to 180% of needs for certain products, since the second half of 2020, there has been an upward trend in prices, compared to those recorded. at the same periods in previous years”, reads the minutes of the Council of Ministers.
“In addition to the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, this situation is mainly due to the strong pressure exerted on national production by applicants from neighboring countries; which promotes a massive exit of the said products by devious means, ”adds the note.
Faced with this situation and because of the rise in the price of agricultural inputs on the international market, Cotonou indicates that it has agreed to the establishment of export royalties on certain products and the ban on the export of agricultural inputs outside Beninese territory. Soya, cotton, processed or unprocessed cassava, shea, paddy rice, yam (tuber and cossette) and cashew nuts are targeted.
In fact, it is a question of the application of a rate of increase in the current average selling price in the order of 20% for products whose internal consumption needs are very high, and 10% for products whose supply is in excess of domestic demand.
Curb the “uncontrolled exits” of food products
In addition, announces the Council of Ministers, in order to encourage exports by sea of products such as gari, cashew nuts, corn, shea and soybeans, an additional fee for securing overland exports. It will thus be levied 10 FCFA / kg on shea, 20 FCFA / kg on cashew nuts, 30 FCFA / kg on soybeans and 50 FCFA / kg on corn and gari.
“These measures are intended to curb the uncontrolled outflow of food crops which cause an unjustified spike in prices, and to ensure in particular the domestic availability necessary for national consumption. The amounts thus deducted at the customs cordon from the exporter will be intended to support agricultural producers, ”notes the government.
According to data published this week by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), the inflation rate reached the 5% mark in December 2021 in Benin, after an achievement of 2.5% the preceding month. A level not reached for more than three years.
The last high monthly inflation in 2021 dates back to June (4.6%).