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.
- 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
- 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