„Game Changers - Women in Agriculture“ Award winner 2020

Akech Manyuat Gong
© Ignace Dossa

Euphrasie Modukpe Dassoundo Assogba

Director of the farmer producer company "Agro Express" (*1991)



Nominating organization:

Green Innovation Centers for the Agriculture and Food Sector, Benin


“Having started by making canned tomatoes with her mother-in-law's cooking pots, Euphrasie Dassoundo Assogba has today become a successful entrepreneur and shaped the future of horticulture in her community. Her example of preserving fresh produce shows how creative solutions can help reducing food loss and expand markets for local produce. With her comparatively young age she significantly contributes to food security and local economic development.


Euphrasie Dassoundo Assogba was aware of the challenges in marketing fresh tomatoes and had a vision to create an economic unit for processing puree and powder. Today her company provides employment for 150 people, most of them women. Starting with a single point of sale in 2013, she managed to build up a distribution network of 50 outlets by 2019 to sell her products. Euphrasie Dassoundo Assogba's engagement ensured that growers of fresh vegetables – many of them women - reduced their post-harvest losses significantly and improved and stabilized their incomes. With her persistence, she overcame the resistance against women's entrepreneurship in a farming sector strongly dominated by men. Her work has an important impact on increasing employment opportunities for women and youth in rural areas. Thanks to her engagement, women in Benin are increasingly participating in local decision-making processes. Moreover, the preservation of fresh garden produce contributes to food security for many families during dry seasons. Euphrasie Dassoundo Assogba has changed the game. In Benin she has gained national reputation.”



“Agro express's vision is to contribute to the reduction of post-harvest losses which is a recurrent phenomenon in the commune of Kpomassè where we are settled. Tomato cultivation is an activity that feeds 80% of the population of this municipality. Being a Game Changer motivates me to continue and persevere in my activities to impact more people and families. For me, development at the grassroots level is the guarantee of sustainable development.”  

Euphrasie Modukpe Dassoundo Assogba

Extract from the nomination

As a highly committed woman, despite the difficulties she has encountered, she influences others through her commitment and her work. Other women can take her as a role model. Her dedication to her work and her rigour are also factors that influence those around her, as well as her patience in overcoming life's obstacles.


“In Benin, women's entrepreneurship is not well developed, and the sector is strongly dominated by men, to the detriment of women. In the beginning, the business was struggling to take off and we were perceived as women who didn't know what we were doing or where we were going. […] The road was long and full of pitfalls. The beginning was difficult, but through hard work, courage and self-sacrifice we managed to find our place in the market. The rigour in the work and the product quality standards we imposed on ourselves allowed us to change the opinion of many consumers who have always believed that good quality products come from elsewhere.”


"Benin women like Euphrasie face the challenge of balancing the life of a mother and the life of a housewife with the life of an entrepreneur. This is a very important challenge they have to face. At the same time, they also have to face the challenge of innovation. A lot of innovation is needed to overcome the competition from imported products."

Samson Kougbadi, consultant in the regional competence center for employment promotion, in the project “Green Innovation Centres for the Agriculture and Food Sector”, Benin