Cereals traders in Ghana’s Central Region learn lessons in contracting in last cascade training

Ms. Grace Attah who has transacted business orally and totally based on trust for over 40 years says she’s ready to apply the new skills she learned to use written contracts to avoid conflicts and loss of income. Photo credit: Mr. Egnon Lawson, Trade Hub.

For more than 40 years, Ms. Grace Attah, like many Ghanaian cereal traders, has transacted business orally and totally based on trust. But after attending the last in a series of cascade trainings in Ghana on best contracting practices for cereals, she says she is ready to apply new skills in her business.

Ms. Attah and 15 other women were among 45 processors and traders from four cereal markets in Ghana’s Central Region at the training co-hosted by the Trade Hub and the Cereals Interprofessional Committee of Ghana, August 24-25.

The two-day session capped a cascade-training initiative that began in August 2016, when the Trade Hub and the West African Grains Network trained representatives of nine national cereal associations on contracting best practices in the cereal value chain. These representatives were tasked to replicate the training in their respective countries.

45 participants were at the August 24-25 workshop which concluded a series of cascade trainings on best contracting practices for cereals in Ghana. Photo credit: Mr. Egnon Lawson, Trade Hub.

Ghana kick-started its cascade trainings with a May 3-5 workshop in Tamale, and continued with a July 3-4 training in Techiman. The Togolese and Burkinabe national cereals associations are prepping to conduct their trainings in September.

In August, the Cereals Interprofessional Committee of Ghana’s representative, Mr. Iddrisu Inusah Tijani, took participants through the process of negotiating contracts, including the obligation of each party, drafting and signing, and execution.

“We have to move from the traditional method of transaction business by word of mouth and use written contracts to avoid conflicts in the course of commercial transactions and also to guarantee access to finance,” Mr. Tijani told participants.

The training included role plays in negotiating contracts, followed by discussion among the participants.

“I am very happy for the opportunity to learn how to conduct formal trade,” Madame Attah said. “Now I know that my clients—who are mostly in the Techiman maize market—have also learned the new and better way of trading, our transactions will be written contracts rather than trust and verbal to avoid unnecessary conflicts and loss of income.”

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