This Tuesday Ghana launched a commodity exchange for agricultural products; the first in West Africa. This was done in an effort to better be able to guarantee market access for farmers and boost their income, according to President Nana Akufo Addo.
Addo said the exchange would benefit around 1 million Ghanaian farmers by securing storage for their harvest over the next 18 months. It also aims to substantially reduce post-harvest losses.
“Ghanaian farmers will gain access to secured storage for their harvest and good warehousing management practices, thereby improving their take-home sales,” he said in a speech marking the project’s launch.
Exchange managers told Reuters that farmers would be able to use their commodities as collateral and for managing borrowers’ credit and default risks. They will also have real-time market and price information directly via text messaging.
Akufo-Addo said he expected the exchange to eliminate price volatilities and activities of cheating middlemen.
Ghana is the world’s No. 2 exporter of cocoa. It plans to raise annual revenues from non-traditional exports of agriculture products such as cashew nuts, pineapples, banana, mangoes and vegetables to $5 billion in the next five years, from $2 billion currently.