Commodity Exchange platform, an incentive for farmers

A major problem facing the country is inadequate storage facilities which help to store up bumper harvests experienced from time to time.

Research shows that during bumper harvests, foodstuffs like maize and tomatoes particularly go bad or get rotten in many parts of the country. This, evidently, dampens the spirit of producers in the sense that the effort they put in as producers lead to a glut in the market, resulting in very low prices, especially in the following year.

This problem has been with us for so many years and it is good that efforts are made to address it once and for all, so that various forms of produce in the country can be stored in the proper way and made available for consumption whenever they are needed.

A solution to this problem is the Ghana Commodity Exchange platform, whose operations are meant to provide room for storage for some of our staple foods. It is said that if the Exchange is operationalised, it will help to regulate the commodity market and link buyers and sellers within established trade rules while ensuring market quality.

One other good thing about the Commodity Exchange is that it will ensure the timely delivery and settlement of commodities that are traded-in by buyers and sellers. At the initial stages, the Exchange will deal with products like maize, soya bean, rice, dried beans, millet, sorghum and groundnut – but subsequently, more products like cocoa, tubers and vegetables will be included.

The most essential part of the Commodity Exchange is that it will help to bring demand and supply at par with each other so that there will be no glut of any commodities on the market. The excess supply of any product would be absorbed for storage by the Commodity Exchange, releasing them to the market only when they are needed.

To make the Commodity Exchange very workable, its operators would have to work closely with the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) so that standardised weights and graded commodities are what will be made available to buyers who make use of this facility.

If things are planned well, payments for goods bought would be made within 24-hours of trade, ensuring security in the demand and purchase of goods stored and sold in the Exchange.

There is the need to transform the country in a number of ways and the Ghana Commodity Exchange platform is one of the surest ways of ensuring that its operations bring fairness and equity to both buyers and sellers as far as stable prices of commodities are concerned.

Ghanaians have no choice but to support the Commodity Exchange to enable us keep away from occasional gluts at the market which forces prices to come down and serve as a disincentive to producers. In addition, the Exchange will also make produce easily available wherever we find ourselves since all related facilities will be seen to be operating in various parts of the country.

Programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs, One District One Factory (1D1F) and many others currently ongoing, are meant to help transform the economy from its current state to a level that will make food and jobs easily available to Ghanaians.

The Commodity Exchange has come in at the right time so its operations must be seriously guarded and directed for the better to ensure that it succeeds very well for the nation.

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