The Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) has added rice to the list of commodities traded on its platform.
The addition of rice to its traded commodities brings the total number of commodities traded to five; maize, soya bean sorghum, sesame and rice.
Already, maize, soya bean, sorghum and sesame contracts for trade are already making grounds on the trading floor.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the GCX, Tucci Goka Ivowi, speaking at the ceremony to list the commodity on Tuesday, said the exchange is optimistic the country will be rice-importation-free in 5 years.
“Today we get to witness our very first trade of rice on the GCX trading platform making it the fifth commodity to be traded after maize, soya bean, sorghum and sesame. Through the Planting for Food and Jobs program, the government of Ghana plans to support the value chain to reduce the need for import and satisfy 100% of local demand by 2025,” Mrs Goka Ivowi stated.
Rice has over the years become the most consumed food staple in Ghana after maize.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has identified rice as an important food crop that should be given special attention for food self-sufficiency in Ghana; however, the country currently imports about 50 per cent of rice consumed.
Rice farmers in the past have been challenged by the lack of patronage for their produce.
Various campaigns by media houses in the country in 2019, sought to create the awareness around local rice consumption and the challenges rice farmers in the country face.
According to Mrs Goka Ivowi, the Exchange will work closely with rice farmers to ensure that only efficient methods for trade are adopted.
“GCX will also support rice farmers to reduce their post-harvest losses, have access to affordable drying, cleaning and weighing facilities, sell their commodity by weight and grade, package to increase appeal to market, have access to financial markets through our electronic warehouses receipt systems that will enable farmers gain access to affordable finance, using their commodity as sole collateral. Through the exchange, rice farmers will also benefit from a modern efficient trading platform where they can be linked to a larger pool of buyers,” she stressed.
Also speaking at the event was the Vice President of the Commodity Brokers Association of Ghana, Jeffery Ntorinkansah, who averred the listing of commodities on the GCX platforms among other things, guarantees quality and reduces transaction cost for buyers.
The GCX is a marketplace where buyers and sellers of listed commodities undertake electronic trading under rules.
The Exchange aims to standardize rice trading including the trading of maize, soya bean, sorghum and sesame in Ghana with its grading system, to enable buyers and sellers appropriately judge the quality of the produce they trade.
These innovations give farmers the chance to further enhance the value of their produce and make it a much more attractive option on both the local and international markets.