Valuable insights and strategies


Written by Korotimi Drabo, Cooperative advisor Burkina Faso

From 27 February to 1 March 2024, a training course on the basic principles of marketing was held in Ouagadougou. The course was attended by 4 horticultural cooperatives involved in the production, processing and marketing of tomatoes and onions, namely NYI DWI NYE, NAKOGLBZANGA, UPPOB, SONG-TAABA and OUEZENA, a shea collection and processing cooperative. 20 participants took part in the workshop, including 11 women and 6 young people.

Stanislas Bouda, accounting manager at the Union Provinciale des Producteurs d'Oignons des Balé, says: "After this training course, I'm well equipped to get to know our buyers and offer them services that meet their expectations".

Export Opportunities

Onion production in Burkina Faso has risen by 50% in the space of ten years, from 242,258 tonnes in 2008 to 362,480 tonnes in 2018, according to Investir Burkina.

Onions from Burkina Faso are sold on the local market, but large quantities are also exported to Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo and Benin. Around 90% of the fresh tomatoes consumed in Ghana come from Burkina Faso.
Horticultural cooperatives want to better serve these markets by seizing opportunities.

Two experts - Denise Kaba, an onion wholesaler at the Dassasgho market, and Abdoul Rahim Byen, a marketing expert - contributed their knowledge to help these cooperatives meet their customers' needs. These discussions enabled them to highlight negotiation techniques between producers and buyers.

Denise Kaba spoke to participants about her experiences and purchasing requirements. One of the key points was the quality of the onion. She doesn't have a preference for variety, but she is very particular about quality. Participants agreed that they should work to improve the climate with buyers by taking their real needs into account.

According to expert Rahim Byen, digital communication tools are essential, in particular websites, social networks and instant chat applications, to conquer markets. Traditional communication channels such as trade fairs, surveys and major events are necessary to promote market garden produce. During the presentation, negotiation techniques between producers and buyers were discussed, with particular emphasis on flexibility and the creation of a climate of trust, all of which are factors in concluding fruitful agreements.
At the end of the training, each cooperative developed a marketing action plan to be implemented to meet the needs of its customers.

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Anicha Lengani is one of the participants of the Marketing Basics Training. She is the manager of the OUEZENA cooperative, a cooperative that collects and processes shea kernels into butter at Pô, in the sud center region of Burkina Faso. 
‚ÄčAnicha says that the training enabled her to progress and explore new opportunities.

Hortiplus project

The Hortiplus project is being implemented by the consortium Advance Consulting, Auxfin, Agrodev, Agriterra and Sense, with financial support from the Dutch Embassy in Burkina Faso.

The project covers four regions of Burkina Faso, namely the Centre, Centre-North, Centre-West and Boucle du Mouhoun, over the period from December 2022 to November 2026. 

Its main aim is to improve food and nutritional security in Burkina Faso by increasing production (+50%), income (+50%) and climatic resilience for 7,000 horticultural producers, improving the commercial performance of 7 cooperatives and 100 SMEs, and improving dietary diversity for 50,000 rural consumers. Horticultural cooperatives are equipped to conquer national and regional markets.

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