In the recent past, the shrimp sector played a vital role in the Beninese economy. Shrimps were Benin’s second export product (1).
The quantity of exported shrimp from Benin to the European Union reached 700 tonnes in 2002 and generated 3.3 million euro to the national economy (2). Beninese’ shrimps are caught from the inland waters and were highly prized in Europe commanding a premium of 1.5 to 2 euros per kilo over other shrimps from the region (3).
However, in 2003, the sector faced a ban on exports to the European Union due to lack of compliance with the newest food safety standards. The ban resulted in 60,000 jobs lost and about 10 million Euros in lost revenues from 2003 to 2006 (4). To win back the European market, Benin should improve the quality and safety of its shrimps for export purposes.
AimThe study aims at:
• developing an approach to determine main quality and safety aspects of shrimp throughout the supply chain in Benin;
• determining efficient interventions in the supply chain that can improve shrimp quality and safety.
The entire supply chain from fishing areas to processing factories was investigated to determine the conditions in which shrimps are handled. Deficiencies related to quality and safety were mainly observed during the stages of fishing and collection. To assess the effect of contamination of fishing areas on shrimps quality and safety, a microbial diversity study on sediment, water and shrimps is on-going using culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches.
Future research will focus on the determination of the Specific Spoilage Organism and the main pathogenic bacteria threatening Beninese’ shrimps quality and safety. A model will be developed describing the effects of temperature and time in the chain, on the numbers of the relevant microorganisms associated with shrimps.
The model that will be developed will facilitate advising stakeholders on the most effective measures to be taken in the chain, to achieve improved safety and quality.
2. ADEx-CIC 2008. Informations brèves sur les crevettes au Bénin, 2p
3. DTIS 2005. Diagnostic Trade Integration Study in Benin, volume 1, 163pp.