Boost for farmers, industry as AGI, GCX join forces on 5 crucial crops


By Thomas-Moore ADINGO

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) have teamed up to ensure consistent availability of raw materials for industry throughout the year, while also guaranteeing a steady market for agricultural products.

The commitment, symbolised by the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Accra, will see the GCX utilise its platform to ensure industries have continuous access to high-quality agricultural products or raw materials like sorghum, maize, rice, sesame and cashew throughout the year.

The partnership includes initiatives to collaborate with the private sector to ensure adequate storage facilities to preserve the quality of raw materials. It also involves collaboration with farmers, processors and traders to meet industry standards and maintain product quality.

If executed thoroughly, the initiative could alleviate domestic producers from the need to import these raw materials and reduce the demand for dollars. It could also promote commercial agriculture and generate employment opportunities.

More importantly, it would also reduce the import pressure on the cedi, thereby contributing significantly to the stability of the currency.

“We are looking at starting as soon as possible,” GCX’s Chief Executive Officer, Tucci Ivowi said, adding: We are starting with maize, cashew, sorghum, rice and sesame and we will add to the list as and when we have storage facilities available.”

“We work with the government and private sector and this is key in accelerating the development of the commodities space. This partnership is not just about storage; again, by working with the private sector, we need logistics and transportation to move the produce from farms to warehouses,” she stated.

For his part, AGI’s President, Dr. Humphrey Ayim Darke, described the deal as timely, given the ever-increasing importance to explore domestic ways to strengthen the competitiveness of industry, especially in the face of the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA).

“We at AGI see this move as a critical step towards correcting the structural transformation of the agricultural sector,” Dr. Darke added.

Commenting on the MoU, Chairman of AGI Agribusinesses Sector, William Agyei-Manu, said: “We need to support government initiatives and also explore ways to commercialise agriculture. Our focus is to ensure that we make raw materials available to industry all-year round. The target is also to reduce imports; we want to streamline import substitution which will create jobs”.

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