GHANA – The Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) is set to list rice to its trading platform by December this year after clearance and certification from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

After clearance from SEC, the Ghana Commodity Exchange will be listing one million metric tonnes of local Rice which translates into 20 million 50 kg both paddy and milled rice.

The move is expected to give a further boost to local rice production and consumption, as government plans to ban the importation of rice by 2022 to boost local rice production.

The Ghana Commodity Exchange is a private company limited by shares, structured as a Public-Private Partnership, with the government of Ghana currently the sole shareholder.

The aim of the exchange is to establish linkages between agricultural and commodity producers and buyers, to secure competitive prices for their products, assuring the market quantity and quality as well as timely settlement of their trade.

Adding rice to the list it will bring the total number of contracts to six, already having white maize, yellow maize, soybean, sorghum, and sesame.

Both the government and private sector players have affirmed their commitment in making Ghana self-sufficient in rice production as seen with the collaboration of Wienco Ghana Limited with the government and other processing companies.

They will start buying local paddy rice across the country to save farmers the burden of having to store and market their produce when there is bumper harvest.

Already, a dedicated team from Wienco had begun making purchases in Avalavi Pwata in the Ketu North District of the Volta Region and would subsequently move to the Northern belt of the country, geared towards encouraging farmers to produce more.

Currently, Ghana produces 450,000 tons of rice annually against its annual demand of more than one million of tons. The country’s annual rice import bill currently stands at about US$1 billion.

Government has an elaborate plan to build the capacity of farmers to increase production by providing equipment and facilitate the aggregation.

Over the last three years government had procured 51 units of tractor mounted combined harvesters to support the industry and urged farmers to form groups to enable them to get access to those machinery.

The Government has commenced negotiations with 22 rice importers about its intention to ban importation of the staple once the country became self-sufficient.

As part of measures to control the heavy importation of rice, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, announced that starting January 2020, rice importers will require an import permit from the Ministry of Agriculture.