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15.10.2005 Commodity News

CFC to assist commodity producers

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Accra, Oct 15, GNA - The Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), a system to address the problems and improve the standards of commodities in developing countries, has been introduced in Ghana.

Mr Ali Mchumo, the Managing Director of the CFC, told journalists on Friday that the Fund was established by the United Nations as an autonomous financial institution in 1989 in Netherlands, Amsterdam. He said the Fund operates with the International Commodity Bodies (ICBS) and represents a partnership of 106 countries consisting of both developing and developed countries including the European Union, the African Union and the Common Market for Eastern Southern Africa (COMESA).

"The Fund's mandate is to enhance the socio-economic development of commodity producers and contribute to the development of society as a whole."

''The central activity of the Fund is financing of projects in the commodities sector.''

The project is spread over a broad range of activities such as productivity improvements, marketing, horizontal process and vertical diversification, adjustments to the globalisation process and innovative ways of commodity finance.

Mr Mchumo identified two elements of the Fund as the distinguishing factors from other development institutions.

"The first element is that the fund does not support local or national projects. Rather, all projects aim at providing solutions to general problems of commodities affecting producers in several countries.'' Secondly, large majority of projects is financed by grants. The Common Fund currently approved a number of projects over 178, covering mostly agricultural commodities.

He said Ghana had benefited from the Fund in divers ways as a founding member. This includes ongoing Pilot Plant Process of Cocoa by-products at Tafo Research Institute and Cocoa Production and Quality Improvement Phase I & II. The Sorghum malt Brewing and Coconut Oil Extraction projects.

Also, two projects - the Production and Marketing Policies on Coffee and the Grains Warehouse Receipts Africa, have been completed. The Genetic Resistance of Iroko to Phytolymo Phase (I) is yet to start.

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