The Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) has launched the trading of soybean on its platform, in addition to the trading of white and yellow maize.
The move allows for the trading of soya through a structured system in Ghana, with an annual production capacity of 30, 000mt.
The CEO of GCX, Dr. Kadri Alfa, who launched the soybean to the mix of commodities being traded on the GCX platform, said demand for the cereal has been growing, particularly in edible oil, flour, milk and animal feed industry. "The average price of soybeans is between GHC 98 and GHC 120, for the 50kg bag size," he said.
He said extensive feasibility study of the soya value chain has been undertaken in the last 12 months with key partners. Dr. Alfa highlighted the value chain to include production, post-harvest management, quality control, marketing, consumption, financing, logistics, and supply.
"We have also had an extensive dialogue with industry actors, including farmers, agribusiness, market makers, aggregators, middlemen, processors, traders, financiers, consumers, exporters, researchers, and media."
He said trading of soya on GCX would allow farmers to present good quality beans and negotiate prices, becoming price makers while buyers (both local and foreign) would get good quality soya with guarantees for quality and quantity.
Soya farmers who deposit their products in a GCX certified warehouse can now get short term loans with some local banks, Dr. Alfa said, adding that this is to meet the immediate working capital needs of farmers.
"Trading Soya through the exchange is expected to benefit all the parties involved in the value chain, especially farmers and processors. More farmers will be encouraged to cultivate the crop as they will be assured market opportunities," he said.
"With the Ghana Commodity Exchange acting as a platform for soya trading, there will be a formalized system of product marketing in terms of grading and standardization which can only bring benefits to farmers and buyers," he concluded.
In a statement, the CEO of the Ghana National Buffer Stock (NAFCO), Mr. Hanan Abdul Wahab, said the GCX platform had allowed maize farmers to realize premium prices on their produce.
Mr. Wahab was hopeful that trading of soya would help boost the finances of those involved its cultivation. He disclosed that NAFCO was supporting GCX with storage facilities as well as providing training opportunities.