Food, Socio-Cultural and Economic Importance of Yam in the North-East of Benin
Pamphile Degla, Nassirou Sourokou

Despite the strategic importance of yam in food, socio-cultural and economic terms, little attention is given to it in the literature. Thus, this study aims to analyse the different values of this crop, which remains one of the most widespread in Benin and West-Africa. For this purpose, 100 producers were randomly selected. While discourse analysis was used to assess the food and socio-cultural importance of yam, its economic importance was analysed using profitability indicators and a Cobb-Douglas production function. The results showed that the yam embodies not only nutritional importance, but also a sacred value, object of grandiose cultural festivals that only uncontrollable events such as the COVID-19 pandemic can shake. Economically, yam offers a better comparative advantage over maize, which remains the main competing food crop. If due to the scarcity of fertile land, the observed productivity is lower than the national average, it is however possible under current production conditions to increase the yam’s production by 0.926%, 0.013% and 0.042% while increasing the cultivated area, family labour and invested capital respectively by 1%. But in order to sustainably increase production and preserve this food and cultural heritage, better consideration of this crop in agricultural research is required.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jaes.v9n2a12