Since its inception 10 years ago, the Continental Commodity Trading Company has distributed over ¢10 billion interest free loans to farmer based organizations to develop and add value to made in Ghana Rice, thanks to the good economic conditions the company has been enjoying.
The Continental Commodity Trading Company (Rice master), a subsidiary of the Finatrade Group was established about 10 years ago in Accra to engage in manufacturing, distribution and provision of service in some key sectors of the country's economy. The group was also established to engage in inter trading of soft commodities such as Rice, Sugar and Oil in the sub regional markets.
The serene atmosphere created for businesses development has extremely culminated in the quick growth and expansion of many companies in Ghana. It has also contributed strongly to the expansion of the leading soft commodity distributor in the sub region , with it's presence now in . Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal among other countries.
Ghana is said to have been chosen as the headquarters of the finatrade Group because of the good business environment and the support it receives from government and some state agencies.
With the prime focus and determination of the Rice master to develop and promote made in Ghana Rice, the Finatrade Group has for the past 6 years been assisting Ghanaian Rice farmer groups to improve on their production capacity and the quality of products.
The continental commodity trading company has created a niche for itself since 2001 as the first company to process and package locally produced Rice with international standards for distribution and marketing.
There is no doubt that CCTC's consistent promotion of local Rice through the support of cash, skill training and the guarantee of ready market has tremendously helped to stabilized local rice production.
Farmer groups such as Irrigation Communities of Upper East Dawhenya Rice Cooperative farmers Association, Lowlands Rice Development Project in Tamale and Afife Rice Farmers Association have been assisted with several billions of Cedis to develop local rice.
CCTC in November 2007 signed a ¢17 billion contract with House of Rhema, a local rice agent based in Afife to produce made in Ghana perfumed rice for local consumption
This is to enable the "Rice Master" take advantage of the festive season to make rice available on the desk of every family in Ghana. It has further signed a ¢2.5 billion contract with Messers O, another local rice agent to supply long grain non perfumed Rice from Asutuare in the Eastern Region to serve the other side of the market .
CCTC's total capital contribution to local rice development in 2007 reached ¢19.5 billion, the first in a kind by a soft commodity marketing company in Ghana.
The Finatrade Group has since 2003 initiated a ¢94 billion Agric Sector Student Scholarship scheme to assist brilliant but needy students to undertake undergraduate courses at the various state universities.
It is also regarded as the only expatriate company to help build skilled labour force in the Agriculture sector with an annual recruitment of 20 students.
Finatrade's love for Information Communication Technology, has led to the signing of a ¢1.2 billion deal with the Kofi Anan International ICT Centre of Excellence. All these forms part of its corporate social responsibility towards economic and human life development.
The Finatrade Group is presently collaborating with the Ministry of Employment, Manpower and Youth to initiate a youth skills training programme for the unemployed youth who wander on the streets of Accra. When the programme begins operation, it will provide vocational skills like welding, carpentry and others for the youth to make a living.
Following the qualification of the Black Stars to the World Cup in 2006, Rice Master Signed a contract with the country's Soccer Regulating body, Ghana Football Association, with a sponsorship package running into billions of cedis and has since fulfilled it.
The latest in section is the new sponsorship for the Black Stars in the Ghana 2008 competition. As one of the leading rice distribution and marketing companies in Ghana, the company is faced with extreme pressure to provide quality products and services to consumers, which it has operated efficiently to overcome.
Research has proven that some illicit business people normally re-bag or repackage poor quality rice into high class Rice master bags for distribution and marketing for more profits.
This has posed a great threat to rice master brands and a challenge to the Management of the company to secure the total trust of consumers. As a result, CCTC is in talks with the various security agencies and the Food and Drugs Board to trace and arrest the delinquents from their hideouts to save people from buying wrong commodities.
The Finatrade Group and CCTC, its subsidiary company is aimed at making Ghana a gateway of soft commodities to the sub region and land locked countries and also committed to fulfilling all its tax obligations to assist government to meet the infrastructural needs of the people for continuous peace and good governance.
The Finatrade Group of Companies consists of Cocoa "Akuafo Adanfo", 'Bonjour'- on the Run at Legon, Market Direct-Dry Food Processing, Aqua Farms Freight Links, West Coast Limited among others.
By Adu Koranteng