Ghana commodity exchange partners with WFP to manage warehouse for smallholder farmers
The Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) has partnered with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to manage a warehouse WFP constructed for smallholder maize farmers in the Ejura/Sekyedumase Municipality.
Over the next two years, GCX management will lead an upgrade of services which will make it possible for the farmers to participate in structured markets, such as the warehouse receipt facility and thereby will improve their livelihood, income and food security status.
As a certified GCX warehouse, the standards will be improved to facilitate quality grading, storage, warehouse receipt issuance and activation, and delivery. GCX will help farmers correct poor grain quality, high moisture content and preventing levels of aflatoxins that are harmful to human health.
“GCX believes operating a second warehouse in Ejura comes at no better time considering the activation of the Warehouse Receipt Facility using the GCX Electronic Warehouse Receipt,” says GCX Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kadri Alfah. “The GCX Electronic Warehouse Receipt will be issued to farmers who deposit their commodities in our certified warehouses. The receipt represents the stored commodity which the farmer can give to any of the banks we will soon list, as a guarantee to secure a loan.”
“This partnership with GCX will help smallholder farmers better store their produce, use the warehouse receipts to secure much-needed credit and enable them sell on structured markets where they will earn more money than they do in informal markets,” says WFP Country Director Rukia Yacoub.
The warehouse was constructed with contributions from Canada through WFP’s Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative and its Enhanced Nutrition and Value Chains (ENVAC) programme. WFP worked with the Ejura-Sekyedumasi Municipal Authority and local services of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to construct the warehouse located in the Ejura market, one of the country’s primary maize producing and trading hubs.
With a capacity of 300mt, the warehouse can store 6,000 pieces of 50kg bags of grain. It was built at the request of farmer-based organizations partnering with WFP under its P4P initiative, to reduce post-harvest losses through storage facilities that farmers can access at minimal cost to aggregate and collectively sell maize thus improving their bargaining power.
WFP Ghana’s 2019-2023 Country Strategic Plan is supporting national efforts to build efficient, equitable, resilient and inclusive food systems which contribute to ensuring food security, reducing stunting and micronutrient deficiencies by enhancing private sector involvement in nutrition, strengthening linkages between farmers and markets, and promoting sound agricultural quality production and post-harvest management.
GCX will use the warehouse to educate and train market actors including farmers, farmer cooperatives, traders, brokers, financial institutions, regulators, warehouse operators to get everyone involved from the beginning.
The Exchange receives support from the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Finance. It supports the Government’s “Growth and Transformation Plan” to double production of key stable crops, improve storage and improve the general wellbeing of Ghanaian farmers and the people of Ghana.
GCX is expected to play a crucial role in supporting government initiatives such as the Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s “Planting for Food and Jobs” and the “One District One Warehouse” initiative. GCX will support these initiatives by collaborating to provide warehousing management and quality control systems.