CÔTE D’IVOIRE – Authorities in Côte d’Ivoire have given the go-ahead to create a pilot phase for an Agricultural Commodity Exchange (BMPA) to trade cashew nuts, corn, and fresh kola nuts to facilitate and improve the marketing for the commodities.

The decision was arrived at on June 7, in the Council of Ministers which concluded a process that started in 2018 to create an agricultural commodity exchange to trade key agricultural commodities.

If successful, the nation could join the ranks of African countries that have also opted for the installation of agricultural commodity exchanges such as Ghana, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.

According to Ecofin Agency, the decision was motivated by the conclusive conclusions of a feasibility study which made it possible to determine the potential and operating conditions of such a marketing platform in the country.

The pilot project will be implemented over 24 months by the WAEMU Regional Stock Exchange (BRVM) under a management mandate agreement.

“Ultimately, the BMPA will not only make it possible to offer a basic price reference for negotiations on commercial contracts, nationally and internationally, and to have a better control of the prices of our agricultural products, but also to capture significant resources for financing the sector, for the benefit of all actors in the agricultural value chain,” reads the press release

The decision comes after a recent move by Advans Côte d’Ivoire (Advans-CI), a microfinance institution and member of the Advans group to implement a pilot program intended to finance cooperatives of maize producers through a financing agreement of 150 million CFA francs (US$245,000).

Advans partnered with Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD) dedicated to financing the private sector in developing countries in an initiative envisioned to support 1,500 cereal producers operating in the north and center of the country, particularly in Bouaké and Korhogo.

In Côte d’Ivoire, corn is the second most cultivated cereal after rice with production hovering around 1.2 million tonnes in 2022/2023. The crop is grown on nearly 560,000 hectares.

In 2022, FAO predicted that production of maize, including the secondary crop at 1.2 million tonnes, nearly 10 percent above the average, reflecting favorable weather conditions and an increase in the planted area.

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