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.
- 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
- December 29, 2016 Breweries and other industrial cereals buyers in West Africa prefer to source internationally due to aflatoxin contamination in regionally produced grains. Aflatoxins—caused by certain molds that occur in soil, decaying vegetation, and grains—seriously hinder regional cereals trade, and lead to serious health risks, including stunted growth, cancer, and death. To tackle this in Benin, the Trade ...Read more
- December 12, 2016 More than 200 cereals sector stakeholders from West, East and Southern Africa, as well as several European countries, came together at a conference in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso at a forum organized by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), Nov. 29-Dec. 1. The Trade Hub contributed financially to the program, which included officials ...Read more
Hub’s Financial Advisor helps Ivorian rice processor access financing to increase processing capacityDecember 12, 2016Through its Financial Advisor network, the Trade Hub helped facilitate a 300 million West African Franc ($491,693) loan for Agricultural Management Company – Food and Commerce (AMC-FC), a major rice processor in Côte d’Ivoire. In addition to a previous $1.25 million Hub-facilitated loan, AMC-FC now has about $1.3 million to boost its processing capacity of ...Read more
Women-owned businesses in Burkina Faso continue to thrive under the Hub’s Access to Finance StrategyNovember 28, 2016As part of its Gender Access to Finance Strategy, the Trade Hub is working with women cereals processors in Burkina Faso to access streams of financing to grow their businesses. From November 7-19, the Hub’s Business Development Specialist, Kafui Djonou, met with these women in Ouagadougou and Bobo to assess how these loans have impacted ...Read more
- November 28, 2016 Kokou Zotoglo, the Hub’s Cereal Value Chain Specialist, traveled to Côte d’Ivoire in early November to continue his assessment of the capability of lead cereals processing firms in Senegal, Mali, and Côte d’Ivoire to source grains from cereals wholesalers in both the country and region. By traveling to these countries, Zotoglo aimed to promote commercial ...Read more
- November 28, 2016 Last week, the Trade Hub traveled to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to meet in a USAID-sponsored Partnership meeting with representatives of numerous other projects working in a specific region of Niger and Burkina Faso, and in particular the REGIS-AG and REGIS-ER projects. The Trade Hub met with numerous projects working in the region, and was able ...Read more
- October 31, 2016 The Trade Hub’s Cereal Value Chain Specialist, Kokou Zotoglo, traveled to Dakar, Senegal and Bamako, Mali, to strengthen commercial linkages between breweries, such as Guinness, and cereals processors that could supply brewers’ grits, dried corn kernels used as a malt replacement in beer. The October 19-21 trip also promoted commercial relationships between cereal wholesalers and processors ...Read more
- October 10, 2016 In April 2016, USAID’s West Africa Trade and Investment Hub organized an agribusiness management and entrepreneurship workshop in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to train 21 female cereal processors from Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo in good business management practices. In West Africa, women entrepreneurs often lack negotiation and business management skills. The Trade Hub designed ...Read more
- September 19, 2016 Through an agreement signed September 8 with Trade Hub, the regional Coris Bank group—with subsidiaries in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Togo, and soon Benin and Senegal—will award up to $17 million in loans for business expansion of small and medium processors and exporters working in cereals, cashew, shea, and other value chains. The Trade ...Read more
- August 24, 2016 Over the past year, the Trade Hub has collaborated with the West African Grains Network (WAGN) to organize trainings to help traders understand the value of written contracts as a way to build trust between trading partners, increase the quality of cereals traded, ensure the use of grades and standards, and develop financial records that ...Read more