The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) has called on the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) to urgently address the problems facing the agric sector before scaling up the GCX platform.
The farmers believe when their challenges are addressed, more of their members would be able to sign onto the commodity exchange platform.
Meanwhile, the Head of Programs and Advocacy at the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Charles Nyaba addressing the media noted that managers of the Commodity Exchange should deal with the current setbacks before it considers expanding its operations.
“Sometimes it’s good to scale up but in scaling up, you have to make sure that what you started with is doing well. So I think that we should look at those constraints that are making it difficult for farmers to access the platform and see how best we can address them before scaling up”.Chares Nyaba
Moreover, Mr. Nyaba suggested that the Ghana Commodity Exchange can address the challenges through the lessons learnt.
“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 and 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.Charles Nyaba
“So, I think, we should be thinking of scaling up in future but let’s see how best you [Ghana Commodity Exchange] are able to address the challenges of farmers effectively using the platform”.Charles Nyaba
Meanwhile, the exchange has identified two major problems that have continually affected farmers in the country. They are; lack of storage facilities and access to credit. The lack of storage situation has compelled farmers across various districts of the country to resort to storing their farm produce in awkward places including their bedrooms.
However, 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 Commodity Exchange platform.
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.
It can be recalled that Mrs Tucci Goko Ivowi, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX), speaking at minister’s Press Briefing, said Ghana recorded improved quality in commodity, reduction in post-harvest losses and lower transaction cost.
Furthermore, the CEO of the GCX also 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.