ETHIOPIA – The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has donated 2.5 Million Birr (US$ 50,000) to Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) in support of the initiative to incorporate wheat into the contemporary trading system.

ECX noted that wheat was one of the two crops traded when the Commodity Exchange was in operation 15 years ago.

With the support of FAO, the commodity exchange is now plotting its comeback to take advantage of the increased production that the country has started to experience.

The commodity exchange has revealed that the released funds will be channeled to major onboarding activities such as contract development, stakeholders’ deliberation, awareness creation programs, and producing educational and communication materials among others.

The system will provide warehouse receipt financing (WHRF) services, using money acquired from the Italian Cooperation Agency, according to ECX statement.

This move comes after the recent revelation by the Ministry of Agriculture that the country had achieved wheat self-sufficiency after harvesting over 110 million quintals (11 million tonnes) of the crop during the first six months of the fiscal year.

The ministry added that the bumper harvest was due to the ongoing aggressiveness in raising the country’s wheat production in a bid to wean itself from exports, which were increasingly becoming unreliable.

In addition, the country launched a national wheat export launch program in Bale Zone, Oromia region, a push poised to make Ethiopia’s wheat export dream a reality.

The ECX, therefore, has disclosed that this indispensable support from FAO helped to realize the plan of the Exchange to secure all the preparations to launch the wheat trading into the ECX system.

When ECX starts trading wheat, farmers and suppliers can deposit the commodity at the nearby warehouse of the Exchange’s 25 branches which can be extended to more sub-branches using the union’s facilities.

The ECX further added that wheat farmers will benefit from the fast and reliable clearing and settlement system, get real-time market information on wheat trade, and be allowed to warehouse receipt financing system to get a short-term loan.

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