agro AgroTech West Africa

Côte d'Ivoire is becoming the bread basket of West Africa

Côte d'Ivoire is becoming the bread basket of West Africa. Agriculture and the food industry, especially in Abidjan, have been very dynamic for years, both in production and processing. Further investments will follow. Both sectors also enjoy a prominent regional position. They supply not only the domestic market but also the other francophone countries of the region, such as Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, Niger, Togo and Benin.

The increasing demand for food throughout the region and the good general economic situation in Côte d'Ivoire continue to offer positive prospects for suppliers of food and packaging technology. 

The French-speaking West Africa is a rather homogenous market of about 110 million inhabitants, which is growing by more than 3 million people every year. With the exception of Guinea, all countries use the franc CFA franc, which is linked to the euro. The currency facilitates not only the overseas export of machinery from Europe and Asia to Abidjan, but also the export of food within the French-speaking countries of West Africa.

Ivorian agriculture produces so-called cash crops for the world markets. The country is one of the largest producers of cocoa, rubber, cashew nuts or palm oil in Africa or even in the world. Cocoa in particular is of great importance. The major international cocoa trading companies such as Cargill, Cemoi and Barry Callebaut are investing in improving smallholder farming there. The traders usually work hand in hand with the large state cocoa marketing company Conseil café-cacao (CCC). The measures include improving the supply of farmers with fertilizers, agrochemicals and high-quality seedlings.

GIZ active in the cocoa sector with a project

The focus is also on the training of farmers and the commercialisation of cooperatives into a company. CCC is always looking for partners from the private sector for such measures. Donors are also involved in this area, including the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH with its "Pro Planteur" program. Some of the major cocoa traders are also expanding the capacity of their processing facilities in Côte d'Ivoire. For example, the French company Cemoi plans to expand the capacity of its plant from the current 5,000 tons per year to 10,000 tons in 2020.

The local and regional sales market is becoming increasingly interesting due to the increasing population and purchasing power. The demand for food is increasing not only in the large domestic consumer market of around 23.7 million inhabitants, but also in neighbouring French-speaking countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Niger, Togo and Benin. For palm oil, which is used regionally as cooking oil, and sugar, there is already extensive plantation cultivation, which was originally geared towards export.

Investments in palm oil and sugar cultivation

In palm oil, local producers Palmci, Sania, Société d'investissement pour l'agriculture tropicale (Siat), Palmafrique, Palmci, Africa West Industries (AWI) and Israeli Dekel Oil are expected to continue investing in the expansion of their production. Sucaf and Sucrivoir are also investing in sugar cane cultivation. Demand for corn, cassava, tomatoes and poultry meat is also rising sharply. Such foodstuffs have not been cultivated professionally to date, and projects are now increasingly taking place in these areas as well. Rice cultivation is politically supported.

There are plenty of business opportunities for international companies in Côte d'Ivoire's agriculture. Bayer and BASF have offices in Abidjan, focusing on the sale of agricultural technology. The fact that Bayer serves from Abidjan throughout West Africa, including Nigeria and Ghana, underlines the importance of Ivorian agriculture. Demand for agricultural machinery is also high. Leading agricultural tractors are New Holland, Landini, Massey Ferguson and John Deere.

In Côte d'Ivoire, capital has increasingly been flowing into agro-processing in recent years, i.e. the processing of local agricultural products such as cocoa (Barry Callebaut, Cemoi), palm oil, rubber (SAPH), cashew nuts (Olam) or rice (Dekel Oil). The government in particular wants to increase local value creation and provides investors with investment incentives for this. The major cocoa traders, for example, recently invested a great deal in the construction of mills. About one third of the harvest is now processed locally, even though most of the value added is still generated in the industrialized countries.

Source: GTAI Germany Trade & Invest, 16 May 2018

New: DLG and fairtrade enter into strategic partnership

Since 2013 agro West Africa has been organized by fairtrade as part of agrofood West Africa. Now DLG (German Agricultural Society) enters into strategic partnership with fairtrade for this event in Ivory Coast and those in Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria and brings in its agro and trade fair expertise by introducing its AgroTech brand to the agro events of fairtrade’s agrofood trade shows. 

The focus of the cooperation lies on agricultural technology, animal production, flori- and horticulture and hot-house technology. The cooperation was officially announced during Agritechnica in Hanover on 14 November 2017.

Organisers of the world’s No. 1 trade shows Agritechnica and Eurotier, DLG is the global leader in professional trade fairs in the fields of agricultural engineering, crop production, animal production and bioenergy. DLG has been organizing trade fairs and exhibitions for the agricultural and food sector since 1885. It goes without saying that DLG can make a valuable contribution to the further development of agro AgroTech West Africa.

The now agreed cooperation combines the complementary strengths of fairtrade as a proven Africa trade fair expert and the DLG as an agricultural organization and organizer of international agricultural trade fairs.

In order to attract new visitor target groups, such as the so-called large scale farmers from the target and neighboring markets, a regionally adapted DLG specialist program will be set up or expanded. With the support of industry experts, know-how along the entire value chain of plant production is transferred into West Africa.

DLG and fairtrade sign cooperation agreement on 14 November 2017 during Agritechnica Partners for Africa (from left to right): Jens Kremer - Business Developer DLG Service, Paul März - Exhibition Director fairtrade, Martin März - Founder & Managing Partner fairtrade, Peter Grothues - Managing Director DLG Service and Bernd Koch - Managing Director DLG International

Bernd Koch, Managing Director of DLG International

West Africa is experiencing strong demand for innovative agricultural technologies for sustainable plant production. Above all, solutions for more efficient irrigation and plant protection are on the agenda of politics and practicing farmers in the field of crop and agriculture. We want to support the region in the advancement and modernization of agriculture, true to the principles of the DLG. fairtrade has recognized the enormous potential of the African market at an early stage and now ranks among the leading organisers of agrofood trade shows on the African continent. We look forward to developing the agro events in close cooperation with fairtrade in order to make them even more attractive to exhibitors and trade visitors.

Martin März, Founder & CEO of fairtrade

For several years politicians and decision-makers have stepped up their efforts to expand and modernize agriculture and food production in sub-Saharan Africa, and the international community is ready to support this development. The decline in oil revenues led to a revival of local production and the „made-in ...“ trend. Double-digit growth of sales figures show that sub-Saharan Africa is investing heavily in agricultural and processing technology for the purpose of increasing yields, reducing immense post-harvest losses and reducing imports. We are keen to further develop the agro events of our agrofood shows in close cooperation with DLG as the world market leader for agricultural fairs.

Opportunities in the agrofood industry

  • Massive investments in agricultural technology
  • Increase of yields - Reduction of immense post-harvest losses - Reduction of import bill
  • Medium-term development extremely promising

West African imports of agricultural machinery and equipment

Source: VDMA

Share of West Africa’s major agricultural technology importing countries 2016 – apart from Nigeria

Source: VDMA


  • Crop seeds
  • Flower bulbs and seeds
  • Forage plant seeds
  • Medical and herb seeds
  • Oil seeds
  • Vegetable seeds
  • Miscellaneous

Agricultural technology

  • Drilling and sowing
  • Farm inputs
  • Farmyard supplies and grassland care
  • Fertilizing
  • Forest
  • Fruit, vegetables and other special crops
  • Harvest conditioning, conveying, preservation and storage
  • Harvesting
  • Irrigation and drainage
  • Management, services, organisations 
  • Mobile loading machines
  • Municipal applications/landscape management
  • Plant protection
  • Soil working and seed-bed preparation
  • Solid biofuels
  • Tanks
  • Tractors
  • Transport
  • Used machine trade
  • Flori- and horticulture/ Hot house technology
  • Horticulture technology
  • Hot-house construction
  • Hot-house technology
  • Mechanical equipment for horticulture
  • Technical equipment for horticulture
  • Miscellaneous 

Animal production

  • Animal housing and shed construction
  • Breeding animals, breeding programs, trade, reproduction technology
  • Controlled environment and environment technology
  • Equipment and accessories
  • Feed and other farm inputs
  • Feed storage, feedstuff production
  • Husbandry and feeding techniques
  • Management and consulting services
  • Milking and cooling technology
  • Processing and marketing
  • Technology for dung, solid manure and slurry
  • Transport vehicles, transport services
  • Training, associations, media 

Service Firms, organizations, media

  • Advanced training and education
  • Certfication
  • Cleaning and hygiene
  • Corporate and human resources consulting
  • E-commerce
  • Employment agencies
  • Financial service providers
  • Internet services
  • IT services
  • Ministries, government agencies
  • Organizations
  • Recycling
  • Software solutions
  • Special shows, trade forums
  • Specialist literature
  • Trade and technical publishers
  • Trade publications
  • Training, consulting
  • Other services