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.
- 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
- August 3, 2016 In Cote d’Ivoire’s commercial capital, 115 West African stakeholders (including 39 women) from nine countries participated in the fourth cereals exchange organized by the Trade Hub in collaboration with Afrique Verte and the West African Grain Network (WAGN). The July 26-27 event in Abidjan offered a platform for producers and traders to negotiate costs, quantities, quality, ...Read more
- August 2, 2016 In July, three more women-owned businesses in West Africa secured $49,167 in financing to expand their businesses, thanks to Trade Hub support and coordination with local organizations. The project’s two-tier finance and investment strategy works through a regional network of Financial Advisors for larger businesses and intensively in Burkina Faso with smaller female cereals processors ...Read more
- July 26, 2016 One hundred West African cereals producers, traders, and other stakeholders will converge on Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, July 27-28, for the fourth regional cereals exchange. These forums— hosted by the Trade Hub, Afrique Verte and the West African Grain Network—bring together buyers and sellers from across the region to identify new business linkages and other partnerships, negotiate ...Read more
- June 6, 2016 A Trade Hub-supported workshop for administrators and directors of West Africa’s newest regional grains alliance gave intensive instruction in administrative, accounting and financial procedures. The May 30-June 1 workshop in Lome, Togo explained modules from a new manual for the West African Grains Network (WAGN), produced by a local firm, Auditcom Togo Sarl, with backing ...Read more
- March 15, 2016 More than 90 stakeholders in the cereals sector took part in Dakar’s first cereals exchange, culminating in the signing of 54 contracts for an estimated 18,000 metric tons of produce, by close of business on March 11. The two-day event was the third in a series of regional exchanges conducted by the West Africa Trade ...Read more
- March 8, 2016 Three more women-owned cereals processors in Burkina Faso received 17 million CFA in total loans last week. These most recent loans were made by micro-finance institutions, Caisse Populaire and Premiere Agence de Micro Finance, to two cereals processors in Bobo Dioulasso and Banfora, and a rice processing group in Mogtedo. Two weeks ago, four women-owned ...Read more
- December 12, 2015 In early December, 74 West Africans involved in the region’s cereals trade gathered in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, to create new commercial partnerships and strengthen existing relationships. Organized by the Trade Hub and NGO Afrique Verte, this two-day event built upon the success of the first Ouagadougou exchange held in July and attracted new participants ...Read more
- December 9, 2015 For immediate release December 9, 2015 Contact: Bill Noble, Value Chain Development Specialist Tel: +233 26 280 0781 Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso — More than 60 cereal sourcing and procurement enterprises, producer associations and inspection companies have converged in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso today for the second quarterly West African Regional Cereals Exchange. The Exchange is organized by the USAID/West Africa Trade ...Read more
- December 2, 2015 The Trade Hub, in partnership with the West Africa Grains Network (WAGN), held a three-day workshop last week on best contracting practices in intra-regional cereals trade. The workshop–held from November 23-25 in Lome, Togo–aimed at promoting formal trade among lead firms within the cereals value chain, which includes maize, rice, millet, and sorghum. More than 60 ...Read more
- November 19, 2015 More than 100 stakeholders in the animal feed industry, including financial institutions and industry experts met with the Access to Finance team from USAID/West Africa’s Trade and Investment Hub project (Trade Hub) and its network of Financial Advisors in Lagos, November 19, 2015 to promote and facilitate investment in the animal feed industry. Participants discussed ...Read more
- November 6, 2015 Cereals exchange organized by USAID generates 54 contracts for $20 million in staple food commodities. Alhadji Adamou Aboubakar, a cereals trader from Niger, knows well the pitfalls of verbal agreements in his business. “If we set the price today, as soon as the price fluctuates, there will be a problem between the two parties,” he said. “If ...Read more
- July 17, 2015 The deal looked like an easy win for intraregional trade: In January 2015, Ghana’s Premium Foods, one of West Africa’s largest commodity traders, agreed to buy 20,000 metric tons (MT) of white maize from Centrale des Producteurs de Céréales (CPC) of neighboring Togo, which buys from 1,000 cooperatives representing 21,000 farmers. When the first tranche of ...Read more