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GHANA LAUNCHES GCX TO BOOST AGRICULTURE

The Ghana Commodities Exchange (GCX) project has been launched in Accra to transform Ghana’s Agriculture through the establishment of the first modern commodity exchange in the country.

 

 

The GCX project which will become operational by 2016, will  establish state-of-the -art, transparent, and professional market institutions,  to impact the lives of millions of Ghana’s small scale producers and all others in the marketing chain.

 

President John Dramani Mahama who launched the project, said it was in fulfillment of an announcement he made in the 2014 budget statement and that the GCX would help transform the lives of farmers and all Ghanaians.

 

He said as Ghana remained largely an agricultural economy, with 56 per cent of the population employed mainly as smallholder farmers, there was the need for government and stakeholders to lead the way by moving Agriculture from subsistence to a market economy.

 

He said the GCX would therefore create orderly, transparent and ready market for goods that were produced by farmers, as well as improved agricultural produce, to also help generate more opportunities for investment in the Ghanaian economy.

 

Mr Joe Tackie, Chairman of the GCX Project Steering Committee explained that it had been designed to address the significant losses in farm produce that constantly happened to the detriment of farmers and society at large.

 

Mr Robert Dowuona Owoo, GCX Project Coordinator, said it would allow farmers and traders to meet at a point and trade in quality and standardiszed produce with everybody benefiting.

 

He said the national launch would be followed by a sustained, sensitization campaign around the country, involving media, educational materials, television, film and others,  to reach the target groups.

 

Dr Eleni Gabre-Madhin, GCX Project Lead, described a commodity exchange as a modern market place for buyers and sellers who traded under a warehouse system governed by rules.

 

Dr Gabre-Madhin, who is also the founder and former CEO of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, said Ghana’s GCX would provide a level playing field for transparency that would help build confidence in the farmers, the sellers, and the buyers.

 

She explained that when the project took off , eight warehouses would be established in Techiman, Kumasi, Ejura, Tamale, Bolgatanga, among other places closer to the farming communities,  to enable the farmers easily access that platform and trade their commodities.

 

She said commodities including maize, paddy rice, beans, and groundnuts would be traded on the exchange.

 

Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Minister for Trade and Industry,  said Ghana was the first country in sub-Sahara Africa to introduce the platform to help solve the challenges of farmers in getting the full measure of their wealth.

 

Ethiopia and South Africa are already running the exchange commodity system, while North America and Europe started the system many years ago.

 

Mr Spio-Garbrah commended the Ghana Commercial Bank and Ecobank for coming on board the GCX, and urged other financial institutions to invest in agro industry to support Agriculture.

 

Mr Fiifi Kwetey, Minister for Food and Agriculture, welcomed the GCX and expressed optimism that it would help transform the Agricultural sector, while helping farmers to leverage the system and access the needed funds to push farming.

 

He asked that information about the GCX should be simplified and made available to all farmers to enable them better understand the issues and access the platform.

 

Source: GNA


Created: 26 June 2015
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