All West African countries produce maize, millet/sorghum, and rice, and hundreds of millions of small farmers make their living from these crops, making them strategic commodities for regional food security and trade. West Africa offers huge markets and promising marketing opportunities for cereals producers, especially with large institutional buyers.
The Trade Hub coordinates assistance to the cereals sector through the West Africa Grains Network (WAGN); ROPPA, West Africa’s network of farmer organizations; and the NGO Afrique Verte. We are developing an active regional trade network for cereals to stimulate investment, and increase productivity by:
- Identifying the major constraints to cross-border trade in cereals during periods of food insecurity, and developing action plans to alleviate these constraints.
- Strengthening the capacity of WAGN to deliver services to its members, while making it more sustainable as a member-driven organization.
- Training grain producers’ organizations to improve the agricultural productivity of their members.
- Increasing access to real-time data through a market information system for major cereals, and helping improve the transparency of the system, in partnership with RESIMAO, the region’s agricultural market information network.
- The Trade Hub produces a monthly West Africa Cereals Market Outlook, which compiles market and price information about cereals in seven countries. It is published in both English and French.
- October 9, 2017 The Trade Hub and a Burkinabé farmer-based organization for agro-commodity aggregation and trade organized a two-day training session on contracting best practices for cereals traders in Dédougou, western Burkina Faso. The September 28-29 training also equipped 30 participants, including nine women, with skills and knowledge to prevent aflatoxin contamination. In French and the local language Djoula, experienced ...Read more
Cascade trainings in contracting and aflatoxin prevention spread Trade Hub–fostered approaches to Togolese cereals tradersSeptember 25, 2017Following successful training for cereals traders in Ghana in August, the Trade Hub partnered with the Cereals Inter-professional Committee in Togo on two trainings to promote the use of written contracts and prevent aflatoxin contamination. In Tsevie, southern Togo, 30 cereals traders including 14 women learned best contracting principles from September 11-12, followed by a ...Read more
- September 4, 2017 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 ...Read more
- July 31, 2017 When Colette Nakpergou gave the closing summary at the Cereals Exchange on behalf of the Togolese delegation, her compatriots let out a loud cheer in agreement: “The most important thing is that we cereals actors have to commit more in regional trade so that we can defeat road harassment not on paper but in real life ...Read more
- July 24, 2017 At the request of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Trade Hub and the Food Across Borders (ProFAB) program are developing a framework for a scorecard for member states to evaluate their own progress in implementing the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS). From July 17-19, a proposal writing team—consisting of the Hub’s Chief ...Read more
- July 18, 2017 During a July forum in Côte d’Ivoire’s commercial capital, West Africa cereals stakeholders discussed business opportunities and supply solutions to the thorny problem of local agro-industries sourcing grains from abroad. As uncovered in an earlier Trade Hub report, agro-industries like breweries and animal feed processors in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Togo buy ...Read more
- July 12, 2017 Cascade trainings to promote written contracts for cereals traders continued in central Ghana with a July 3-4 workshop for 47 participants, including 14 women from the Techiman Maize Buyers and Sellers Association. Co-hosted by the country’s Cereal Inter-professional Committee, this second in a series of workshops used lectures in the local language Twi and role playing ...Read more
- July 12, 2017 Aflatoxins—caused by certain molds that occur in soil, decaying vegetation, and grains—seriously hinder West Africa’s regional cereals trade, and lead to serious health risks, including stunted growth, cancer, and death. A recent Trade Hub four-country study on cereals sourcing for the agro-industrial sector in West Africa revealed that most buyers import from outside the region because ...Read more
- June 19, 2017 Representatives of Cereals Inter-professional Committees (CIC) from seven countries acquired tools for policy advocacy to improve grain trade and quality—particularly to prevent aflatoxin contamination—at a Trade Hub training in Togo, May 22-24. The three-day training-of -trainers workshop in the Togolese capital, Lomé assisted 15 members of the CIC with skills to push governments and donor agencies ...Read more
- June 5, 2017 A key strategic objective of the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub is to build the capacity of its regional partner organizations namely: West African Grains Network (WAGN), Borderless Alliance (BA), Confédération des Fédérations Nationales de la filière de bétail et viande de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (COFENABVI) and Réseau des Systèmes d’Information des Marchés en ...Read more
- May 15, 2017 To kick-start a series of cascade trainings, thirty-one participants from the Ghanaian cereals value chain— including nine women — attended a training workshop from May 3-5 to learn about the benefits of using written contracts as a best practice in cereals trade. Held in Tamale, Ghana, the Trade Hub co-organized the event with the Cereal ...Read more
- April 18, 2017 Behind the scenes for the “making of” the Hub’s apparel video The Trade Hub’s apparel video is fostering the apparel export manufacturing sector in West Africa, specifically in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana. This video short provides a behind the scenes look at the making of this video. Cereals exchange in Mali brings together buyers and sellers ...Read more
- April 10, 2017 The Trade Hub’s cereals specialist, Mr. Kokou Zotoglo, surveyed procurement systems used by industrial cereals processors in four West African countries, uncovering ways to foster new commercial relationships with cereals traders. His research in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal is detailed in a report published in March 2017. Mr. Zotoglo interviewed officials at more than ...Read more
- March 20, 2017 Fifty West African buyers and sellers (including nearly 30 women) from Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Guinea gathered in Bamako, Mali, for the fifth cereals exchange organized by the Trade Hub in collaboration with the NGO Afrique Verte and the West African Grain Network (WAGN). The March 8-10 event offered a platform for producers and ...Read more
- January 30, 2017 The Trade Hub and Resilience and Economic Growth in the Sahel – Accelerated Growth (REGIS-AG) will soon sign a partnership agreement to leverage support for West Africa’s farmers and agricultural traders. In meetings in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in mid-January and December 2016, officials from the two USAID projects identified areas where the projects could join forces ...Read more