National Validation Workshop on the Geographical Indication’s Code of Practice for the Gari Sohoui from Savalou

17 - 18 noviembre 2017
F&F Hotel
, Benin

As part of the EIF Tier II project “Strengthening the Productive and Trade Capacities of Benin”, UNCTAD has been assisting producers in raising the value of traditional products from Benin through the use of Geographical Indications (GIs).
A study conducted in 2015 discussed the benefits and challenges of developing GIs in Benin, including a detailed description of the range of available products potentially eligible for GI registration. Following its validation, it was agreed that GIs would be included in the National Trade Development Policy of Benin, for which UNCTAD is also providing assistance.
In December 2016, a workshop was organized for Gari Sohoui and Pineapple “Pain de Sucre” producers in Bohicon, Benin.  The purpose of the workshop was to raise awareness about the potential of GIs as a trade and development tool.
As a follow-up activity, UNCTAD developed the code of practice / book of specifications for the GIs for Gari Sohoui from Savalou.

Gari Sohoui from Savalou
Gari Sohoui is a crisp, slightly acidic flour derived from cassava root. It is one of the many traditional products derived from cassava, and it is often produced through artisanal methods passed down from one generation of women to the next in rural Benin.
It is rich in starch, and is an important ingredient in many typical West African dishes. The quality of the Gari Sohoui produced depends on the variety of cassava used in its manufacture. Cassava used to produce Gari Sohoui from Savalou must come from the département des Collines, Benin.
The workshop organized in Savalou, Benin, welcomed the participation of 24 women producers of Gari Sohhoui and 14 partner institutions (both Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations) including the ANAPI (National office of the OAPI, the regional office of WIPO), PNOPPA, DDAEP, and MIC, among others, who served as coaches for the women producers.
During the two-day workshop, the women carefully reviewed the draft code of practice, with the help of the coaches, proposing amendments and improvements to ensure that the document precisely reflected their traditional knowledge on the transformation process of the cassava into the final product, “Gari Sohoui from Savalou”.
At the end of the workshop, the code of practice was validated, and all women signed a commitment agreement to ensure the diffusion and respect of the document in production practices. Written commitments were officially delivered to UNCTAD during the closing ceremony of the workshop.
Follow-up activities, including the development of a project proposal by the National GI committee, were agreed. 
UNCTAD and national authorities will pursue efforts to develop linkages with ongoing activities organized by FAO and WIPO. In particular, women’s communities will exchange with cassava producers benefitting from an FAO project aimed at strengthening productivity, in order to develop synergies and generate positive externalities between projects implemented by both institutions, FAO and UNCTAD.

Government of Benin
Sponsor / funding:

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