Exporting to the Ivory Coast: Opportunities in Agriculture post-Covid-19

In the post-Covid 19 era, the Ivory Coastmarket is worth exploring as a possible destiny for exporters in a variety of sectors.  In this article, however, we focus on agriculture, one of our specialist sectors.  In How2Go West Africa, we are already preparing the 3rd participation of Ivory Coast in the Fruit Attraction Trade Fair in Madrid at the end of October. 


How has Covid 19 affected the sector?

Agriculture represents 22% of the GDP of Ivory Coast, more than half its export earnings and employs nearly 60% of the country’s workforce.   

From a Sanitary point of view, Ivory Coast has so far come out relatively unscathed from the epidemic, with 119 deaths as at 7th September.  Yet business has not been immune, with exports of products such as cashew nuts, mangos or cocoa seriously affected by the situation in its main markets.   


The crisis has only brought into sharper focus the need to modernize the full value chain for the agrarian sector In Ivory Coast, opening up even more exporting opportunities for exporters from elsewhere.

With agriculture being the country’s economic engine, it is vital that the existing development programmes continue; not only because of the huge importance of the sector’s exports for the economy,but also because the government is keen to achieve food security for the population.

In this respect the Government – together with international bodies such as the FAO, the UN and EU, among others, reacted quickly by drawing up and putting in place a special support programme to preserve the dynamism of Ivory Coast Agriculture and secure millions of jobs. 


Support measures for the Agricultural sector

On 22nd May, the Ivory Coast Government approved the Emergency Programme for Agriculture with a budget of €230 million.  Included within the Government’s wider Plan for Economic, Social and Humanitarian Aid, it is financed 80% by the Government, with contributions from bilateral and multilateral funds of €46 million.  The first tranche of aid money was released on June 16th.


The state aid will be shared out as follows: 


    • 67% (€121.6 million) will be used to support export crops: mango, pineapple, banana, cashew, cotton, rubber and palm oil. 
    • 33% (€61.1 million) will be directed at supporting the cultivation and marketing of staple food crops; rice and horticultural produce, poultry farming, livestock, fish farming and natural fishing.


The measures mainly consist of price subsidies to guarantee the producers income, support for the acquisition of agricultural supplies and equipment, and help for the development and improvement of the storage and logistics infrastructure for agri-food products.


By way of example, another of Ivory Coasts’ agricultural development programmes is subsidized by the EU, who are contributing  €17m over a period of 4 years – 2018-2021 – to support the production of yucca and other non-rice produce.   Its main aim is to contribute to food security and to the creation of employment by promoting modern and sustainable food products of quality which are also resistant to climate change, thus permitting reliable and regular supplies to the markets. 


As part of this programme, a tender is expected to be announced for the supply and installation of irrigation systems for 151 ha, divided into 4 lots (for more information, contact us).


Export Opportunities post Covid-19 in Ivory Coast’s Agricultural Sector

On July 1st Ivory Coast opened its frontiers to international flights, which was good news for international trade.   

The main products and services where we see opportunities are: 


    • Phytosanitary product: with a clear tendency towards ecologically sustainable products (biopesticides, biostimulants…), where there is less competition than for chemical products, which are also produced locally
    • Cultivation techniques
    • Irrigation techniques 
    • Post-harvest
    • Agro industry: equipment for the transformation of agricultural products. 
    • Mechanization


When international borders closed, part of the harvest could not be exported, and much was lost owing to the lack of adequate infrastructures for its conservation and the lack of capacity to transform the products locally in meaningful volumes.  

This has provoked a wider awareness and a sense of urgency about the need to modernize the whole agriculture value chain in Ivory Coast, which will allow, for example, the country to diversify and guarantee the export of mango as a fresh, dry and conserved product.

In our article  How to Export Forestry, Agriculture & Livestock Products to the Ivory Coast, we discuss other support programmes for the sector focussed specially on mechanization.  


Why seek the help of How2Go to export to Ivory Coast?

How2Go is well established on the ground in Ivory Coast, in close contact with the Ministry for Agriculture and other organisations, as well as the main producers and distributors. 

We are delighted to be already working on bringing to Spain the third delegation of buyers and producers from Ivory Coast’s agricultural sector, coinciding with the annual Fruit Attraction Trade Show in Madrid, planned to take place from 20th to 22nd October.   


If you are looking to export to Ivory Coast and would like to receive more detailed information about opportunities offered by the Agricultural Sector, please contact us: contacto@h2gconsulting.com


Article written by Louisa Criscenti-Brown

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