A GH¢50million credit warehouse receipt financing (WRF) scheme for smallholder farmers across the country by the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) is creating value and offering fair pricing mechanisms to farmers against middlemen and buyers from neighbouring countries, the Exchange has said.
The credit, which is established in collaboration with the ARB Apex Bank, the GCX said, has ensured standardisation and drastically reduced the risk of price manipulation by middlemen and ensured access to quality commodities for both local and international buyers on the exchange’s electronic trading platform.
The fund, which has been available since October 2019, has seen improved utilisation by farmers through the WRF system.
GCX said the more than 320,000 smallholder farmers on the trading platform are eligible to access the credit. The platform is linked to the exchange’s 10 physical warehouses across the country, connects to the warehouse receipt system in the Central Depository, and corresponds with the exchange’s payment and settlement platform.
Head of Communications at the GCX, Madam Roselyn Siaw, told the B&FT that the initiative has greatly reduced price manipulation at the farm gate by commodity buyers from both local international markets such as Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Togo, and other countries in the sub-region.
She further added that the exchange’s warehouse receipt financing enables farmers to put foodstuffs at any of the company’s warehouses as collateral, as most farmers want money upfront to reinvest into their businesses.
“Once farmers are ready to sell these crops, they prompt the GCX to be linked to potential buyers. The reason for this initiative is to prevent selling at the farm gate at reduced prices, which foments cheating,” she noted.
The product’s arrival at the warehouse from the farm gate automatically attracts some premium and increase in price.
While in the warehouse, farmers who wish to sell their commodities are offered receipts by the GCX to receive credits worth almost 70 percent of the commodity’s price in the warehouse from partnering rural banks.
The exchange therefore gives guarantees to banks which cover the risks involved in the transactions.
Ghana Commodity Exchange is a regulated national and regional market, linking buyers and sellers of agricultural and non- agricultural products to trade under rules and discover prices while assuring the market quantity and quality of the products and timely settlement.
GCX’s key goal is to link Ghanaian smallholder farmers to agricultural and financial markets in Ghana and across the West Africa region to ensure Ghana’s farmers secure competitive prices for their commodities, as well as supply good quality commodities which meet the nutritional needs of the Ghanaian people.
GCX’s business operations consist of a trading platform powered by a provider Trading system, and warehouse storage operations linked to the exchange through an electronic warehouse receipt system (e-WRS), backed by collateral management services.
One of the primary advantages of the GCX trading system is it enables all users (farmers, cooperatives, buyers, brokers, merchants etc.) to trade anywhere in the country, region and the world.