The Ghana Commodity Exchange, a private-public partnership initiative that provides a regulated market linking buyers and sellers of commodities to trade, says it has seen a 45% drop in farm produce channeled through its platform.
The CEO of the Exchange, Dr. Kadri Alfah, who disclosed this to Citi Business News, blames the drop largely on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on production and other factors.
Farmers, who produce the five approved commodities for the Exchange, namely maize, sorghum, soy bean, sesame and now rice, make up about 90 percent of the Exchange’s total trade.
“Small holder farmers, they account for 90 percent of our trade. Compared to last year, the amount of commodities that they have brought to us to be trade has actually fallen by about 45 percent. We also looked at it in the context of trading volume, and how much has been traded through the Exchange has also fallen substantially,” he said.
The CEO says these farmers have resorted to producing primarily to feed themselves with very little coming to the Exchange. Dr. Kadri Alfah says these challenges have affected the overall performance of the Exchange.
“Some of the new products that we have brought that we were expecting to do well haven’t done well either. Sesame and sorghum for instance, are new contracts and we were very optimistic that we’ll have higher activity there. There hasn’t been liquidity in those contracts, so overall the Exchange’s fortunes have been drastically affected by the COVID,” he added.