President urges farmers to embrace Ghana Commodity Exchange platform

President Akufo-Addo interacting with some of the traders during the launch

President Akufo-Addo interacting with some of the traders during the launch

The Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX), a trading platform that seeks to bring together buyers and sellers of selected agricultural commodities, was launched in Accra yesterday.

 

The platform, the first of its kind in the West African Sub-Region, operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance.

 

Starting with spot contracts for physical commodities, GCX will later introduce trading in futures and options contracts for the listed commodities.

 

Launching the platform, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo expressed optimism that the platform would be one of the key drivers to make the country an agricultural hub of West Africa.

 

“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 said.

 

The President indicated that the GCX would initially facilitate trading in food crops to ensure food security and, later, introduce other agricultural products.

 

“Government will make sure that the GCX 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, can position Ghana as the premier West African global trading hub,” he said.

 

President Akufo-Addo noted that the GCX would integrate an estimated one million farmers into the platform and Warehouse Receipt System in the next 18 months.

 

He enumerated some benefits of the platform to farmers, including the ability to gain access to secured storage for harvest, good warehousing management practices, preventing post-harvest losses, among others.

 

He said farmers would get access to affordable short-term loans using their commodities as sole collateral and get daily real time market and price information directly through text messages.

 

“To our traditional rulers, I encourage you 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 said.

 

He said although farmers were responsible for feeding a nation of 29 million people, they were among the class of workers 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.

 

“Most often, there are no formal contractual agreements in place, resulting in trade disputes which undermine our marketing system,” he said.

BY YAW KYEI

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