GHANA – Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) is considering the listing of raw cashew nuts on its trading platform to facilitate the development of the cashew value chain in the country.
As part of this ambition, the exchange organized an assembly jointly with the World Food Program (WFP) on May 30 in Accra that brought together the main players in the Ghanaian nut sector (aggregators).
The meeting was also attended by financial institutions, and warehouse operators among others to establish a sustainable marketing model.
According to Robert Dowuona Owoo, Chief Operating Officer of GCX, the cashew nut is expected to be marketed through an auction model based on the successful results of a pilot project launched in 2021.
“We piloted cashew trade in 2021 starting with 50 tons and increasing volumes in 2022. As a result of this pilot, it was found that buyers were willing to actively participate in cashew trade on the platform GCX due to the structured nature of the market and secure settlement processes,” he explained.
Tucci Goka Ivowi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GCX said the introduction of cashew on the electronic trading platform of GCX would have many benefits for Ghana’s cashew value chain and market actors involved in the cashew sector in Ghana.
She revealed that the GCX structured trading concept which included commodity quality testing, grading, weighing, packaging, and standardization would offer operators in the cashew value chain an alternative and a more structured market for trade.
Since the inception of the GCX, it currently trades maize, rice, sesame seed, sorghum, and soya beans.
However, Tucci disclosed that the strategic plan is now to cover trees and cash crops, adding that everything done by the exchanger is based on consultation.
She said so far, the GCX had traded more than 20,000 tonnes of commodities but had been dealing with smallholder farmers.
To meet the increasing demands, she said, there was the need to increase storage space for the high volumes of commodities and the GCX was working with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for the release of some of the warehouses under the one-district, one-factory initiative for use by the GCX.
Robert, the GCX Chief Operating Officer outlined some of the challenges of the cashew sector including quality inconsistency, price fluctuations, limited access to finance, weak infrastructure such as poor roads, limited processing capacity, and the effect of climate change.
He, however, expressed confidence that the move by GCX would offer solutions to these challenges including a structured market model, standardized quality, price recovery, access to finance, and improved market information.
The Country Director of the World Food Programme Ghana said the WFP had signed a memorandum of understanding with the GCX to focus on food systems and the development of the value chain.