||Knowledge and practice of project risk management are crucial today for the success of agricultural projects which usually require huge investment and operational costs. They are key to securing profits for investors and social benefits for communities. Risk management is embedded in the project cycle. It is a cross-cutting issue, from project design to implementation, mid-term evaluation and conclusion and it can be investigated by referring to some generic theoretical variables, as described in the workflow diagram of project risk
management. This article examined the extent to which the practice of risk management in a community resource-based forestry project in Benin complies with the best practice. An empirical model, based on indicators of those variables, was therefore designed to analyze the case. The project is being implemented by the National Timber Office (ONAB) of Benin and the research was done at its mid-term evaluation. Twenty (20) high-level project’s technical staffs were interviewed to elicit data on operational indicators of above variables and to rate the current practice against the best practice. A composite project risk management index, combining the declared risks, their frequencies and the extent of mitigation strategies, was calculated for the purpose. The index observed value is 0.349 or 34.9%, compared to the theoretical maximum of 100%.
Therefore, the risk management practice so far in the project is weak. The main reasons include lack of information on project’s benefits for communities, lack of technical and social feasibility study, heavy administrative procedures during implementation and lack of training for project staff on project risk
management. The study calls for greater strategic planning and better training to enhance risk management in community-based forestry projects.