President Opens Ghana Commodity Exchange
President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has opened the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX), a platform for buying and selling listed agricultural commodities.
Speaking at the launch of the platform on Tuesday, he noted that the GCX, first in West Africa, will be one of the key drivers of realising his government’s vision of becoming the 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.
An estimated one million farmers, in the next 18 months, would be integrated into the GCX.
According to the President, the 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.
Also they would have 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.
Even though Ghanaians farmers are responsible for feeding a nation of some twenty-nine million (29,000,000) people, the President stated that 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. Most often, there are no formal contractual agreements in place, resulting in trade disputes which undermine our marketing system,” he said.
The President noted that agro-industry players also have major concerns, with varied qualities of the same commodity often mixed together and sold, with a clear disregard for accuracy in weight, and also the non-existence of a national system for the weighing and standardizing of the quality and quantity of commodities.
These challenges, he stressed, have given rise to the employment of costly solutions and alternatives in dealing with them.
He however urged all Ghanaians to get involved to make this a success.
“To our traditional rulers here, 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 added.