Animals and Plants
What is growing in Benin?
A wide variety of landscapes stretch across Benin. Coconut, palmyra and oil palms grow on the coast in the south. There is no dense rainforest in Benin. But trees grow on the banks of the rivers, the gallery forests. The liver sausage tree is also native there. Yes, there really is! It bears fruits that look like a sausage. It is native to West Africa, but it is now growing all over Africa.
In the savannah in the north, grasses and scattered shrubs and trees grow. These also include the baobab tree, the shea tree and the néré. Another tree species is the kapok tree. It becomes very high, up to 75 meters.
Of course, many crops are also grown. These include cotton, cassava, beans, and rice. Types of fruit are bananas, limes, lemons, mangoes, melons, papayas and pineapples. See Benin’s economy.
Which animals live in Benin?
The animals typical of this habitat, such as antelopes and giraffes, live in the savannah of Benin. However, some large animal species such as elephants, buffalo or rhinos are mainly found only in the national parks in the north of the country.
Predators include lions, hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, caracals, jackals and servals. Mongooses are represented in several species. The African wild dog still lives in the border area to Burkina Faso and Togo, in a corner in northwest Benin, namely in the Pendjari National Park. The African civet, aardvark and wild boar are at home all over the country. Brush-eared pigs and white-bellied pangolin can also be found in the southern half of the country. Monkey species in Benin include the anubis baboon and the hussar monkey.
There are many tropical birds, but also migratory birds that stop here. Guinea fowl, weaver birds, and vultures are represented in several species. Flamingos live in the south of Benin, the secretary in the north, while the darter is common throughout the country.
The Nile crocodile lives in the rivers. The ball python belongs to the snakes, which like the northern rock python is not poisonous. Caution is advised when encountering the puff adder or the green mamba. Chameleons, turtles and lizards are widespread.
Benin – a country of agriculture
Benin is an agricultural country. This means that most of the people are employed in agriculture. In contrast, there is little industry. Benin is a poor country. The via is measured Human Development Index of the United Nations. This index measures the prosperity, i.e. the wealth of the countries, worldwide. Benin is in 163rd place out of 189 countries (as of 2018). The income of the state is distributed as follows: Agriculture has 26 percent, industry 23 percent and services 51 percent.
Cotton from Benin
Mainly corn, millet, manioc and yams are grown for their own consumption. The fruit includes pineapples, bananas, mangoes, papayas, melons and guavas. These goods are also sold by the farmers in the markets
Cotton is the most important commodity for sales to other countries (export). Cotton is Benin’s most important commodity, but Benin’s share only plays a minor role in world trade. Nuts like coconuts, peanuts, and cashews are also important to the economy, as are oil, copper, wood, and gold. The main trading partners for export are China and India.
23 percent of Benin’s income comes from industry. There are mainly textile, food, building materials and cement factories. The most important trading center is Cotonou with the country’s only seaport. Port transshipment is generally important for the economy.
Problems in Benin’s economy are: indebtedness, power outages, child labor and unequal pay for women.