The Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) has added rice contracts to the number of commodities traded on its electronic trading platform.
This move brings to five, the number of commodities listed by the GCX.
Already, maize, soya bean, sorghum and sesame contracts for trade are already making grounds on the trading floor.
Rice has over the years become the most consumed food staple in Ghana after maize.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) identified rice as an important food crop that should be given special attention for food self-sufficiency in Ghana; however, the country currently imports about 50 per cent of rice consumed.
Speaking at the ceremony to list the commodity on Tuesday, the Chief Executive Officer of the Exchange, Tucci Goka Ivowi said the exchange was optimistic the country would be rice-importation-free in five years.
"Today we get to witness our very first trade of rice on the GCX trading platform making it the fifth commodity to be traded after maize, soya bean, sorghum and sesame. Through the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, the government of Ghana plans to support the value chain to reduce the need for import and satisfy 100 per cent of local demand by 2025," she said.
According to Mrs Goka Ivowi, the exchange would work closely with rice farmers to ensure that only efficient methods for trade were adopted.
"GCX will also support rice farmers to reduce their post-harvest losses, have access to affordable drying, cleaning and weighing facilities, sell their commodity by weight and grade, package to increase appeal to market, have access to financial markets through our electronic warehouses receipt systems that will enable farmers gain access to affordable finance, using their commodity as sole collateral," she said.
Also speaking at the event, Vice President of the Commodity Brokers Association of Ghana, Jeffery Ntori Nkansah said the listing of commodities on the GCX platforms among other things guarantees quality and reduces transaction cost for buyers.
"For us, the exchange came in as a timely intervention by government to ensure that quality was guaranteed for us from the warehouse, so once we joined the exchange, we saw our Business grow, because now we could take on constant orders from our clients without necessarily bordering about quality. As the Commodity Brokers Association of Ghana, we are looking to partner the exchange as we inaugurate the trade of rice to ensure that local rice is promoted to the highest premium," he added.
Ghana commodity Exchange is a marketplace where buyers and sellers of listed commodities undertake electronic trading under rules.
The Exchange aims to standardise rice trading including the trading of maize, soya bean, sorghum and sesame in Ghana with its grading system, to enable buyers and sellers appropriately judge the quality of the produce they trade.
These innovations give farmers the chance to further enhance the value of their produce and make it a much more attractive option on both the local and international market.