General News of Thursday, 8 November 2018
A lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr. Robert Aidoo, has lauded government’s commodity exchange.
The lecturer who is at the agric department of the school, told Kwame Tutu in an interview on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5FM that, the initiative will benefit Ghana just like it has benefited East African countries who have used this system for years.
Dr. Aidoo said farmers would have an available market to trade especially those who deal in green and cereals. A well-managed commodity market he added will inure to the country’s benefits.
“If we manage it well, we will be able to distribute our products well. It is not only farmers that will benefit but traders and investors in the sector will also benefit.’’
Although he noted the commodity was long overdue, he stressed it is coming at a good time to help players in the agric sector.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 5th November, 2018, launched the Ghana Commodity Exchange, a platform for buying and selling listed agricultural commodities.
Speaking at the event, President Akufo-Addo noted that the Ghana Commodity Exchange, the first in West Africa, is going to be one of the key drivers of realising his government’s vision of becoming the agricultural hub of West Africa.
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 indicated that a decision has been made 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.
“Government will make sure 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 can position Ghana as the premier West African global trading hub,” he added.
With an estimated one million farmers, in the next 18 months set to be integrated into the Ghana Commodity Exchange and Warehouse Receipt System.
President Akufo-Addo stressed that 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.