President Akufo Addo has called on farmers in Ghana to take full advantage of the the newly established Commodity Exchange organization in order to ensure the speed sale of their produces.
In his address at the inauguration of the Ghana Commodity Exchange’s (GEX) Operations at the newly built Export Trade House in Accra, President Akufo Addo said, Even though Ghanaians farmers are responsible for feeding a nation of some twenty-nine million (29,000,000) people, they are amongst a class of workers in the country with no guaranteed incomes for their labour and efforts”.
“On their own, some of them have to deal with commodity price volatilities, and many possess little to no knowledge of the true value of their produce. Even worse is the fact that most transactions in the agricultural sector are conducted by word of mouth or handshake agreements”.
To this end, President Akufo Addo said the “Ghana Commodity Exchange, the platform for buying and selling listed commodities, will, thus, become the first of its kind in West Africa, and one of only three operating on the African continent”. He challenged Ghanaian Farmers to take full advantage of the institution to push their commodities.
The Scope of GCX Operations
The President in his speech indicated that “a decision has been made by his administration for the Exchange, as a start, to trade in agricultural commodities, specifically with food security crops, with additional commodities set to be traded at the Exchange” in the near future.
Commitment to the success of the GCX
The President pleaded that his administration will do all within it power to ensure that “the Ghana Commodity Exchange delivers on its mandate, and promotes high productivity, price stability, increased exports, and reduced imports of commodities”. The Exchange, in light of the emerging regional and continental free trade area, the President said, “can position Ghana as the premier West African global trading hub”.
With one of the main focus of the GCX being the ability to offer storage facilities for the products of Farmers, the President stressed that “with an estimated one million farmers, in the next 18 months set to be integrated into the Ghana Commodity Exchange and Warehouse Receipt System, Ghanaian farmers will gain access to secured storage for their harvest and good warehousing management practices, substantially reducing their post-harvest losses, and improving their take home sales; affordable short-term loans using their commodities as sole collateral, as well as managing borrowers’ credit and default risks; and daily real time market and price information directly via text messaging”.
Plea with Traditional Rulers
To traditional rulers in Ghana, the President encouraged them to “help with the sensitization drive to improve the lives of your peoples; to our farmers, be part of the knowledge sharing within your communities so everyone benefits. Buy and sell through the Ghana Commodity Exchange,” he added.
The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Ken Ofori Atta, in explaining the role of the GCX, said the organization has come into being at a strategic time in the history of the country. He indicated that the GCX if fully embraced by Ghanaian famers will guarantee improved agricultural productivity and reduce post harvest losses.
A Ghanaian farmer, Maxwell Akandem, who shared his personal experience with the GCX and the impact it has had on his ability to sell his commodities, made a passionate appeal to the President to set up a financial institution in the country that would offer credit facilities to farmers at a rate of 4% or less in order to boost the industry. President Akufo Addo assured Mr. Akandem that his suggestion has fallen on fertile grounds and soon, government will announce her plans it that regard.
Ghana Commodity Exchange
The Ghana Commodity Exchange is a private company limited by shares, structured as a Public Private Partnership, with the government of Ghana currently the sole shareholder. The aim of the exchange is to establish linkages between agricultural and commodity producers and buyers, to secure competitive prices for their products, assuring the market quantity and quality as well as timely settlement of their trade.
Essentially, the GCX has been established to regulate markets that links buyers and sellers of commodities to trade by Rules, while assuring the market quantity and quality, timely delivery and settlement.
Ghana Commodity Exchange is also a regulated national and regional market linking buyers and sellers of agricultural and non- agricultural products to trade under rules, and discover prices while assuring the market quantity and quality of the products and timely settlement.
GCX key goal is to link Ghanaian smallholder farmers to agricultural and financial markets in Ghana and across the West Africa Region to ensure Ghana’s farmers secure competitive prices for their commodities, as well as supply good quality commodities which meet the nutritional needs of the Ghanaian people.
GCX was launched as a project on June 23 2015. Upon incorporation as
November 2017, GCX has commenced the acquisition of the required infrastructure to support a modern commodity exchange such as warehousing, stock management and quality control systems, electronic trading platform, business processes, central depository, clearing and settlement process, hiring of technical and functional staff, recruitment of members, finalization of exchange trading rules, capacity building and training of market actors and selection of commodities to be traded on the exchange.