Accra, Sept. 16, GNA – Government is to establish a commodity exchange and a regulated warehouse receipt system to ensure price stability and affordable financing scheme, especially to farmers who could use their produce as collateral.
Ms Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry, who said this in a speech read on her behalf on Thursday, added that the objective of the intended project is to improve the capacity of public and private stakeholders in the area of innovative supply chain finance and commodity exchanges.
The two-day forum was organised by the Ghana Grains Council (GCC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Accra.
Ms Tetteh described the warehouse receipt system as an addition to a country's financial store of negotiable instruments where crops were collateralised and lender risks and financial charges to the borrower were lowered.
“Negotiable warehouse receipts also have the potential to positively influence government procurement programmes as well... The success of warehouse receipts will depend largely on strong warehouse infrastructure in the country,” she added.
Ms Tetteh expressed optimism that improved performance of agricultural markets would translate into enhanced livelihoods of rural and urban poor in many adjusting African economies.
She called on participants, mainly drawn from Ghana, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Benin, Mali, Nigeria and Burkina Faso, to brainstorm on how to augment capacity of the policy-making communities in Ghana and the West African sub-region.
The participants, who are government officials, researchers, development partners and business executives, were in the country to discuss the opportunities of Ghana's warehouse receipt pilot project and how it could be replicated in other West African countries.
The USAID through its Agribusiness and Trade Promotion and the Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE) and Expanded Agribusiness and Trade Promotion projects aim to increase the value and volume of intra-regional trade in their respective value chains along the major commercial corridors of participating countries.
The projects focus on agricultural value chain that includes maize, onion, livestock, meat, millet or sorghum, rice and poultry.
ADVANCE is a four year programme that aims at transforming Ghana's agricultural sector in selected agricultural staple commodities to achieve increased competitiveness on the domestic, regional and international markets.
GCC is a private-led industry group established in February 2010 to self regulate the Ghana Warehouse Receipt System.