TradeNet, a Ghana-based trading platform allows users to sign up for SMS alerts for commodities and markets of their choice and receive instant alerts for offers to buy or sell as soon as anyone else on the network has submitted an offer on their mobile phone.
Users can also request and receive real-time prices for more than 80 commodities from 400 markets across West Africa.
Individual users can advertise their goods and offers on free Web sites with their own Internet addresses, and farmer and trader groups can set up Web sites to manage all these services for their members.
The Ghana Agricultural Producers and Traders Organization is a major beneficiary. In 2006, it concluded trade deals worth $60,000 with other producer and trader organizations in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Nigeria. These deals involved purchasing tomatoes, onions, and potatoes without middlemen, reducing the transaction costs substantially.