This will increase the listed products to three. The products will now be local rice, maize, and soya.
This move will ensure that the production and sale of rice in Ghana is increased both locally and for exports.
Rice production in Ghana
Currently, Ghana produces 450,000 tons of rice annually.
This is, however, lower than the millions of tons imported into the country every year, which amounts to almost a billion dollars.
Challenges of the local rice sector
The Ghanaian rice sector is faced with many challenges. This includes the lack of quality control mechanisms, lack of access to credit, low-level infrastructure such as warehousing, unregulated pricing, and lack of policies to effectively regulate the entire rice value chain.
According to the Chief Executive of the Ghana Commodity Exchange, Alpha Kadri two of the main challenges they will concentrate on are quality control and warehousing system. He added that they will address these challenges before the trading of rice begins.
“We will provide the needed platform for the farmers to sell their produce, get them the warehouses to store them and also ensure they meet the right standard. With this arrangement, they should be able to use their stock as collateral to take loans from the bank to expand their farms to increase yield,” Dr. Kadri told Citi Business News after signing an MoU with the John Agyekum Kuffour (JAK) Foundation and the Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body, to expand the rice industry in the country.”
In a related development, the Chief Executive Officer of the JAK Foundation, Prof. Agyeman-Duah said his outfit is interested in the rice industry due to former President John Kuffour’s interest in the agricultural sector.
“Our contribution to this course is the education of farmers to sensitize them on the opportunities there are in getting their produce sold on the exchange. It will give them better pricing and some assurance.”
The GCX is also awaiting approval from the regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission for the trading of rice to start.
Meanwhile, the trading of sorghum and sesame seed is scheduled to begin in September.