The Ghana Commodity Exchange on Monday added rice contracts [Ghana rice] to the number of commodities traded on the electronic trading platform following the approval by the Security and Exchange Commission.
The move is expected to boost local rice production and consumption as government works to put a moratorium on rice importation by 2022.
GCX has so far listed five commodities namely: maize, soya bean, sorghum and sesame contracts.
"The exchange aims to standardise rice trading 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 market," Mrs. Tucci Goka Ivowi, CEO of the Exchange said at the launch of the rice trading.
She further stated that the exchange has worked with rice market actors to deliberate on dynamics that occur in trading rice and ensure that all considerations to ensure the most efficient methods for trading rice on the Exchange are taken into account."
The President of Ghana Rice lnterprofessional Body (GRIB), Nana Adjei Ayeh II said the launch rice trading through the Exchange will be of immense value to the Ghanaian rice farmers.
"We know what trading through GCX guarantees for the farmer in terms of quality, transparency, and most importantly, timely payment. The addition of rice to the list of contracts traded on the GCX would increase marketing opportunities for rice farmers as well as address post-harvest loss issues and their lack of financing, which are key industry concerns," the president of GRIB said.
On the first trading day, rice contracts were sold at GH¢5,140 per tonne.
Rice has increasingly become the most consumed food staple in the country after maize. The country's annual rice import bill, which is about 50 percent of rice consumed, currently stands at about US$1 billion, mainly to supplement consumption gaps left by domestic production.
In view of this, under the planting for food and jobs, government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the private sector players have undertaken measures to boost the domestic rice value chain to satisfy 100 percent of local demand by 2025.
It is estimated that about 1.2 million metric tonnes of rice would be produced in the 2020/21 harvest year.
However, just about 750,000 metric tonnes were produced during the 2019 crop season.
The GCX Warehouse Receipt Financing Scheme will also benefit rice farmers who can leverage their produce to obtain capital from banks at reasonable rates which can then be reinvested into their agribusiness ventures. Business News of Wednesday, 16 December 2020