Seven months after the launch of the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) in November 2018, the Exchange has only provided two months trading data to the public, covering April and May.
Only 397.93 metric tonnes of white and yellow maize grade were traded over the two months in question.
Accordingly, data from the Exchange indicates that in April and May 2019, 136.58 metric tonnes and 261.36 metric tonnes were traded respectively.
Maize currently serves as the premier crop in terms of area planted and accounts for 50-60 percent of total cereal production, while being the second largest commodity crop in the country after cocoa.
Ghana’s maize yield is about 19,650 hectares as at 2017 growing at an average annual rate of 3.03 percent.
It is however not clear why the Exchange, has failed to provide data on traded commodities particularly maize from November 2018 to March 2019.
Though the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) assured the public of ensuring a robust GCX at the inauguration of the Exchange by President Nana Akufo-Addo in November last year, little has been seen from the regulator since then.
Some commodity investors who are not happy about the situation of the inconsistent trading information on the GCX are questioning SEC’s ability to oversee activities of the Exchange. They want daily price and volume information rather than weekly as is currently being provided, arguing that trading information should be in real time just as with a stock market.
The Exchange in April launched the trading of soybean on its platform, in addition to the trading of white and yellow maize.
The move is expected to allow for the trading of soya through a structured system in the country, with an annual production capacity of 30,000mt.
The Exchange has agreements with nine Ghanaian commercial banks to support farmers who have harvested their commodity and deposited same into the Exchange’s certified warehouses, as a sole collateral for short term loans to meet their capital needs.
The agreements are expected offer affordable interest rates for farmers to invest in the value chain and increase agricultural production in the country. However lack of price covering the entire period of trading so far is preventing farmers from determining price trends, which are essential in predicting their expected sales revenues going forward.
Various warehouses across the country have been set up by the Exchange and strategically positioned to be close to farming communities at the district, regional and national levels to ensure that farmers are saved from the huge cost of transporting their goods to designated places.