The International Finance Corporation (IFC) Ghana Warehouse Receipt System (WRS) Project in collaboration with the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCE) has launched the warehouse receipt financing product with four (4) Savings and Loans Companies.
They include Sinapi Aba, Opportunity International, Adehyeman and Letshego.
The launch ceremony took place in Accra on Thursday December 1.
Speaking to journalists after the launch, Mr. Robert Owoo, the Chief Operating Officer of the Ghana Commodity Exchange said the Warehouse Receipt System project and the Ghana Commodity Exchange provide opportunity for smallholder farmers to store their produce, access finance whilst waiting for the price of their produce to appreciate before selling.
Mr. Owoo, also explained that stakeholders operating within the WRS project are also seeking to create opportunity for smallholder farmers to access credit for their farming activities.
Receipts issued by a warehouse operator serves as evidence that specified commodities with stated quantity and quality have been deposited at a particular locations by a named depositor(s), whilst the warehouse operator holds the stored commodity in a certified warehouse approved by the Ghana Standard Authority and Securities and Exchange Commission, the depositor can use the receipts to access funds from any of the participating financial institutions.
Mr. Kennedy Owusu Poku, a farmer who tested the WRS and the GCX system and have received financing after depositing his grains, disclosed that he was satisfied about the initiative and commended IFC and the Ghana Commodity Exchange for implementing the project. “I deposited my grains and I was able to access funding from the savings and loan company withing a week, this is a good initiative and farmers are grateful”.
The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Rev Ogarmey Tetteh in a statement read on his behalf at the launch commended the partners for coming on board to delve into an area “that a lot of people are skeptical about.”
The IFC Ghana WRS Project is being implemented in nine regions of the country with financial support from the Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). It is a technical assistance and advisory services project aimed at setting up a well-functioning regulated WRS that is expected to facilitate an increased access to credit to farmers and the supply chain, linkage to structured markets and reduce post-harvest storage loses.
This intervention focuses on supporting a well-functioning WRS as a necessary pre-condition for the successful operations of the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX). The project addresses WRS on a policy and regulatory level, system level, including technical advisory, training, capacity building and awareness raising for various stakeholders in the public and private sector.