The existing price gap between the open market and that of Ghana’s Commodity Exchange platform is one of the many challenges hampering the smooth operations of the later’s platform.
According to stakeholders like the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, such teething challenges must be addressed before the scaling up of the platform.
The farmers believe when addressed, more of their members would be able to sign onto the commodity exchange platform.
Two major problems that have continually affected farmers in the country are lack of storage facilities and access to credit; the situation has compelled farmers across various districts to resort to storing their farm produce in awkward places including their bedrooms.
They also find it difficult to expand their operations due to the difficulty in accessing credit from various financial institutions who cite high risk as a reason for not giving out loans to farmers
The Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) which came into operation in 2017 is expected to create a seamless interface for the trading of food, minerals and other commodities in the country and address their major challenges which include access to credit and storage facilities.
At the moment although the Ghana Commodity Exchange has established some warehouses, they are not enough to serve the needs of the many farmers who require their services.
CEO of the GCX, Tucci Goka Ivowi has hinted of plans of the exchange to soon start trading in cash crops such as cocoa and cashew to add to the grains it is currently trading in.
Speaking to Citi Business News on the development, Head of programs and advocacy at the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Charles Nyaba said managers of the exchange should rather focus on dealing with the current challenges before it considers expanding operations.
“Sometimes its good to scale up but in scaling up you have to make sure that what you start with what is doing well. So I think that we should look at those constrains that are making it difficult for farmers to access the platform and see how best we can address them before scaling up”.
“We can learn lessons to address the challenges that we identify through those lessons and then use that in scaling up to be able to actually avoid those challenges from occurring again. But then, if you are starting a system and the system has some challenges you have not been able to deal with those challenges and you want to scale up, you are likely to face the same challenges that you faced with the initial system. So I think we should be thinking of scaling up in future but let’s see how best you are able to address the challenges of farmers effectively using the platform”.
Source: Ghana Business