Ghana has launched West Africa’s first and Africa’s third Commodity Exchange to enable farmers market their produce and receive payment within 24 hours.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, who launched the exchange in Accra, said it is one of key drivers toward realising his country vision of becoming the agricultural hub of West Africa.
“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,” Mr. Akufo-Addo said.
Even though Ghanaian farmers are responsible for feeding a nation of 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.
From its trading centre in Accra, the exchange will link buyers and sellers from across the country, and will in the first year of its operations trade staples like maize, soy, rice, millet and sorghum.
Cashew, cocoa, timber, shea butter and vegetables will be traded by the second year, while by the third-year metals, minerals and petroleum products will be added.
The President indicated that agro-industry players also have major concerns which include, 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.