John grew up in the villages and fields around Parakou. Interested in agriculture, he studied agronomy in university. He wanted to come out of school with a unique and valuable skill, so he chose to specialize in beekeeping. He believes the integration of beekeeping, agriculture, and forestry, combined with community education about the environment, has real potential to protect valuable forest resources in Benin. At the same time, it will help reduce poverty by creating new economic opportunities for poor farmers. Relentless in his search for knowledge, John is constantly looking for new information about beekeeping and how to use it to improve the lives of people in his community.
John won $1,000 at the competition in 2015, and with his prize money he has built several beehives on his family's farm, including new models not yet widely employed in Benin. Apart from improving his own apiary, he looks to spread the skill of beekeeping to others, and start a "bee bank" so that farmers looking to incorporate bees into their agricultural systems can easily get started. One day, he hopes to have his own farm consisting of a diversity of trees and crops permitting the production of honey and bees year-round.