Trading on the proposed Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX), which is aimed at providing ready market for grains and cereal producers is set to commence in June 2016, the Project Coordinator, Mr Robert Dowuona Owoo, has said.
Mr Owoo, speaking in an interview with the GRAPHIC BUSINESS in Accra on June 10, said the project would be launched later this month with the commencement of the design face of the project.
He said the project office had been working behind the scenes for the past two years, setting the grounds for the implementation of the project and had put in place structures to ensure its successful completion.
“We have been able to source for funds for its implementation from investors and spoken to various actors along the value chain of the agricultural sector to get their inputs into the design model,” he stated.
The working group had also held discussions with policy makers on various policy issues and working on the legislative instrument that would govern the commodity exchange and its supporting warehouse receipt system.
“We are now set to take off with the design face and we have started recruiting project staff and doing stakeholder mappings to put in place various corporate policies,” he added.
The GCX regime will also have a market council which will be made up of stakeholders - people along the value chain who will help in with appropriate contracts that will be traded on the exchange.
The GCX, which will operate on a Warehouse Receipt System modeled after a similar one in Ethiopia, was expected to take off by December 2012 but could not materialise due to factors which included a change in leadership at the trade ministry.
Ghana’s commodity exchange, among other things, is expected to end the cycle of poverty among Ghanaian farmers, especially smallholder farmers, as it would help them address post harvest losses.
It has been identified with a huge potential to improve the fortunes of the agricultural sector by enhancing price transparency, leading to increased farm output and incomes.
According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the GCX will promote agricultural investment, enhance productivity, encourage market access and fair returns for smallholder farmers, and facilitate the formalisation of informal agricultural trading activities.
It is expected that the establishment of the Ghana Commodity Exchange will engage broad participation by small-scale producers, commercial growers, domestic traders, agro-processing industries, commodity exporters, the national buffer stock administration, food aid agencies and other institutional buyers.
“Moreover, key stakeholders in the exchange include; commercial banks engaged in settlement as well as warehouse receipt financing, quality certifiers, collateral managers, transport and logistics service providers, insurance providers, telecom operators, audit and accounting professionals, among others,” the Ministry said in a project brief.