More than 250 small farmers have access to loans with warehouse receipts
Ms. Tucci Goka Ivowi, Managing Director of the Ghana Commodity Exchange, addressing the press. Photo: GABRIEL AHIABOR
More than 250 smallholder farmers who trade on the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) have used their warehouse receipts to access loans to finance their operations.
The warehouse receipt credit initiative enables farmers who trade their products on the exchange to access loans, using their warehouse receipts as collateral.
GCX Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ms. Tucci Goka Ivowi, speaking at the Minister’s series of press conferences in Accra yesterday, said that prior to the establishment of GCX, smallholder farmers’ access to credit was difficult, as they did. not having houses or land to use as collateral to access loans.
“Today, with the GCX warehouse concept, when you bring your merchandise to the warehouse, you get a receipt, which you can take to a financial institution and get a loan for the value of your merchandise that you have stored. in the warehouse.
“This gives farmers the opportunity to store their produce until the prices are high and at the same time earn money for their livelihoods,” she said, adding that the ARP Apex Bank had devoted GHȼ 50 million to the initiative.
Inclusion of other cultures
According to the CEO, the exchange, which began with the grain trade, would soon expand trade to cash crops such as cocoa and cashews.
“We started with agriculture – grains and food security crops – but we will soon start marketing cash and tree crops,” Ms. Ivowi said.
She said that GCX had already conducted an auction of cashews in the market and that in a later phase her company would introduce products such as metals, minerals and gold, in accordance with the program of the country.
“We go step by step, commodity by commodity and warehouse by warehouse. The idea is not to rush the process but to make sure that every step works, ”added the CEO.
Private sector involvement
Ms Ivowi said GCX was incorporated in 2017 as a private company limited by shares with the government being the sole shareholder, as the job of the exchange was to do social good.
She said, however, that the government would soon open the GCX to private sector participation.
“We are looking to establish a public / private partnership because it is a business, but at the same time we want to make sure that we can improve the livelihoods of small farmers, and this is where the interest of the company lies. government at the moment.
“We have discussed with interested organizations, but we will take our time and ensure that the interests of small farmers are taken into account,” said Mr Ivowi, adding that the GCX had been able to encourage more young people to start farming. .
She said that despite the challenges the exchange faced in 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it had started the good job it had started.
“Our vision is to transform the economy through access to storage, market and finance. Now we have the AfCFTA secretariat in the country and we have a commodity exchange that can serve all countries in the world.
“Our efforts are aimed at improving the livelihoods of small farmers and the economy as a whole,” added the CEO.