Stakeholders in Africa's cereal industry meet again in Burkina Faso

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The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (Trade Hub) held its second quarterly West African Regional Cereals Exchange on Wednesday in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

The event provides a networking opportunity for those involved in the buying, selling, producing and inspection of cereals.

Also assisting with the event was Afrique Verte International, a nongovernmental organization that gives agricultural operators in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Ivory Coast access to technical support and answers to their agriculture-related questions.

"Assessments carried out during the project’s first year highlighted, on a general level, the importance of promoting more formal trade,” Jeffrey Povolny, Trade Hub’s chief of party, said.

The last exchange took place in July.

The goal of this exchange was the get stakeholders in the cereal business together to network, find new investors and hopefully form valuable partnerships. Organizers hoped attendees -- who came from Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo -- would learn about best-business practices and share ideas.

One common industry problem cited by attendees was poor record-keeping, which in some cases has led to questions about product quality, cancellation of orders or having to sell products at a discount.

“The adoption of a written contracting mechanism between buyers and sellers is a major step in mitigating this challenge," Povolny said. "The exchange, therefore, aims at providing an enabling environment for buyers and sellers to meet and complete negotiated sales.”

Organizations in this story

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