On 16th and 17th November 2017, West Africa Food Market Programme (WAFM) organized a two day retreat and capacity building workshop in Accra for 33 of its stakeholders from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger and Nigeria who are involved in value chain activities of Sorghum, Millet, Maize and Cassava as well stakeholders who are promoting regulatory and policy reforms in food trade among these countries.
The overall objective of the retreat was to build the capacity of agribusinesses-beneficiaries of WAFM Challenge Fund Grants, in the four focus countries of the project and policy influencers in addressing the challenges of food insecurity and trade. The WAFM Challenge Fund Grantees are involved in production, processing, warehousing, distribution and cross-border trade of Sorghum, Millet, Maize and Cassava across two major trading corridors: Ghana-Burkina Faso and Nigeria-Niger.
In the opening remarks, the WAFM Team Leader, Dr. Terence Lacey, underscored the importance of agriculture to the economic development of developing countries. “WAFM is contributing to boosting the purchasing power and the resilience of farmers and people to hunger and malnutrition in targeted countries”, Dr. Lacey stated. He further added that there is the need to increase food production, improve the value chain to ensure smooth agricultural trade on the major transit trade corridors and with particular attention to Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and address Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs).
WAFM Challenge Fund Grantees who attended the retreat include Premium Foods Limited, AMYA Agro Plus and KEDAN Limited (from Ghana); AFEX Commodities Exchange, Psaltry International Limited, AACE Foods Limited (from Nigeria); ADS Burkina, Neema Agricole du Faso SA (NAFASO), Faso Agriculture Intrants (FAGRI) (from Burkina Faso) and Federation des Cooperatives Maraicheres (FCMN) and Entreprise de Transformation Céréalière (ETC) (from Niger).
Mr. Akinyinka D. Akintunde, the Business Development Manager at the Nigerian-based AFEX Commodities Exchange, views this retreat as timely due to the current proactive approach being embraced by the WAFM Programme saying “end-to-end linkage of players in the value chain has greatly boosted our business”.