Enhancing Two-Way Trade and Investment Under Prosper Africa
December 22, 2020, The USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub has announced a co-investment partnership with
Koster Keunen, a leading natural waxes company, that will support West African smallholder farmers by
organizing and improving beeswax supply chains from the region. The partnership, which promotes the
goals of the U.S. Government’s Prosper Africa initiative to increase two-way trade and investment, will
increase the value of exports to the United States by over $8 million, improve the beekeeping practices
of 11,200 smallholder farmers, and create 1200 new jobs across West Africa.
“Our partnership with Koster Keunen is a welcome development for us in our effort to catalyze private
sector investments in West Africa. By organizing beekeeping activities for smallholders, our partner can
transform the beeswax supply chain so that it elevates the farmers and is profitable for businesses,” says
the Trade Hub’s Chief of Party, Michael Clements.
Beekeeping can be a profitable enterprise for African smallholder farmers by diversifying and sustaining
incomes, even when other farming activities are affected by drought. Pollination from beehives can also
increase crop yields up to 30%, such as shea or cashew, within a two to three-kilometer radius. Despite
these benefits, formal beekeeping has not developed at a large-scale in West Africa. Lack of equipment,
training, technology, and the establishment of sustainable market linkages have prevented larger
investments in bolstering the value chain.
Thanks to the experience provided by Koster Keunen, the co-investment will tackle these challenges and
enter new markets and communities with their expertise. Koster Keunen will receive a grant of almost $2
million to organize a West African beekeeping supply chain that meets international standards for honey
and beeswax. The company will introduce beekeeping activities as a secondary revenue source to 1,200
new farmers, who predominantly farm cashews, and upgrade 10,000 existing farms. Through its grant,
the firm will provide equipment, training, and new technologies, and will facilitate certifications for
smallholders in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Togo.
“We want to have a long-term commitment to the beekeeper and to show them that this is an activity
that can be professional, and they can make recurrent income,” says Sylvain Cattin, Koster Keunen’s
General Manager for West Africa. “But to do it the right way… to respect the environment, the bee
The co-investment is made possible thanks to Prosper Africa, the U.S. Government initiative to
substantially increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa. Through their
partnership with the Trade Hub, Koster Keunen will expand business operations to export premium
products to the United States while also supporting smallholder farmers in West Africa.