The partnership between the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) and the Juaben Food Bank (JFBL) was concretized with the launching of GCX warehouse operations and the JFBL rice and maize milling plants on 7th September 2020 in Juaben. Thanks to the Government flagship programme, Planting for Food & Jobs, more good quality grains are being produced across the country. And now, thanks to the Juaben Food Bank, the Ghana Commodity Exchange can support farmers in the Juaben municipality to store their grains securely, in a quality fashion, and then be assisted to find markets for their produce.
The Juaben Food Bank (JFBL) has constructed a 1,000MT warehouse with an additional structure that accommodates a rice-processing unit and a maize processing unit with daily capacities of 40-tonnes and 100-tonnes respectively. And in order to put to work the MOU signed between JFBL and GCX, this first warehouse will be operated by the Exchange for the purpose of storage and trading of commodities.
The establishment of this warehouse in Juaben will undeniably enable farmers and crop producers in the area to experience an increase in income from their farm produce. This is due to the fact that there will be an improvement in post-harvest management thanks to the storage handling services and facilities provided by GCX.
The objective of the occasion was to formally launch the warehouse and introduce GCX to farmers and traders in the local communities, highlight the benefits of trading through GCX, whilst rallying the support of opinion leaders in these communities.
Nana Otuo Siriboe II, the paramount chief of Juaben and Head of the Council of State had this to say; “We the people of Juaben take pride in being one of the largest maize producing districts in the Ashanti region. Now with GCX, our farmers will no longer be faced with the problem of inaccessibility to wider markets due to the substandard quality of commodities as well as the high transportation costs and weak bargaining power when trading. I therefore wish to express my deepest gratitude to Ghana Commodity Exchange for bringing positive change in the production and marketing of commodities particularly maize and rice when listed here in Juaben”.
Addressing the farmers and community leaders, Tucci Ivowi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Commodity Exchange shared that “With GCX linking the smallholder farmers of Juaben to a larger sample of buyers, they will be able to get more competitive prices for their produce; and this is money that they can reinvest into their business and develop themselves as market actors. Farmers who deposit their commodities with GCX have access to affordable drying, cleaning, and weighing facilities, which allied with the grading process, gives them the opportunity to meet international standards with their produce and be more attractive to international buyers”.
It is worth noting that, Ghana Commodity Exchange is getting ready to launch rice contracts on its trading platform; a move which is of importance to farmers in Juaben, it’s surrounding areas and the nation as a whole. As it has started to do in the maize, soyabean, sorghum and sesame sector, the GCX aims to contribute to the improvement of the rice value chain and bring stability and value to rice farmers in Juaben and across all rice producing areas in the country. Farmers in Juaben will have access to all the grading and storage facilities that will bring value to their crop and allow them to reach a wider market.
The Ashanti Regional Director of Agric, Rev. John Manu said; “For farmers who participate in the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, the Juaben warehouse presents an opportunity to derive value from forward and backward linkages between producers and commodity chain actors created as part of the initiative. These farmers, who also benefit from a subsidy on the cost of inputs, can generate higher profit margins when trading through GCX. The linkage between Planting for Food and Jobs and GCX has the added benefit of achieving the government’s goal of improving food security and reducing poverty among Ghanaian farmers.”.
The launch was graced with a number of dignitaries including The Omanhene of Juaben, Nana Otuo Siriboe II who doubles as the Chairman of the Council of State, the Member of Parliament of the Juaben Constituency Hon. Ama Pomaah Boateng, the president of GRIB Nana Adjei Ayeh II, the Policy Advisor of the JAK Foundation, Nana Ama Oppong-Dua, the MCE’s of Juaben, Ejisu, Fijaise and Konongo, The Police Commander of the Juaben Area, representatives of SEC, Juaben Rural Bank, Juaben Polutry Farmers Association, Various farmer cooperatives among many others.
GCX was established in November, 2018 to provide Ghanaian farmers with access to markets through a fair, transparent, structured trading system. Ghana Commodity Exchange has warehouses in Afram Plains, Kumasi, Ejura, Wenchi, Kintampo, Tamale, Wa , Sandema and Juaben, where farmers can deposit commodities and trade to diverse buyers. GCX also supports buyers by guaranteeing the quality and quantity of commodity sold. GCX is regulated by the Securities & Exchange Commission of Ghana. Since inception, GCX has been working to assist farmers to reduce post-harvest losses by helping them manage the post-harvest quality of their grains and linking them to markets.
About Juaben Food Bank
Juaben Food Bank Limited (JFBL), a wholly Ghanaian owned company, was incorporated under the laws of Ghana in 2019 with the principal object to undertake general agri-business with a focus on agro-processing and agri-warehousing. The company currently seeks to venture into the production and procurement of grains and root tubers, its processing and onward marketing to local and foreign targets.
JFBL is driven by an objective to increase the local production of maize, rice and cassava required for industrial use; such as breweries, poultry and livestock feed processors as well as food and beverage producers, and ultimately the creation of employment. Accordingly, it relies on best farm practices and the engagement of technical experts in agronomy and agribusiness to ensure this objective is attained in an effective and sustainable manner.