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Government to improve commercialisation of grains

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Dr Joe Annan, Deputy Minister of Trade, has expressed Government’s willingness to collaborate with Ghana Grains Council (GGC) to improve commercialisation and competitiveness in the grains industry.

He said with the provision of the legal and regulatory framework to establish the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) and the Warehouse Receipt System, the collaboration would help ensure price stability, provide sustainable and affordable financing system for farmers.

Mr Annan said the initiative would serve as a platform to create orderly, transparent and efficient marketing system for Ghana’s key agricultural commodities and promote agricultural investment.

He said it would enhance productivity, and encourage market access and fair returns for smallholder farmers and facilitate the formalisation of informal agricultural trading.

Dr Annan announced these at the First Annual General Meeting of GGC in Accra on Thursday .

The meeting on the theme: “2012 Year of the Warehouse,” was to highlight on the contributions of GCC since its establishment and find solutions to problems affecting its operations.

Dr Annan said GCC had contributed to the training of more than 2, 500 farmers on post-harvest handling and use of warehouse receipt system and 30 warehouse operators, and handlers under the completion of the first Ghana Warehouse Receipt Rules and Regulations.

He noted that smallholder farmers were facing agricultural marketing problems, which reduced production incentives contributing to stagnation in agricultural output and productivity.

Dr Annan said that high food price variability made poor consumers in urban and deficit-producing rural areas prone to food insecurity.

He said improvement in the performance of agricultural markets would help enhance the livelihoods of the rural and urban poor in the country.

Dr Annan said Government would ensure a sound environment for food production and distribution.

Mr Tom Gambrah, GGC Board Chairman, said the group had developed its own standards for warehouse, rules and regulations to strengthen governance process of warehouses.

He said activities had been organised to improve the knowledge of quality of warehousing and techniques to reduce post harvest losses.

“By addressing issues relating to poor storage of grains, warehouse management practices, and ensuring initiatives to increase the market appeal of storage grains,” Mr Ganbrah.

He pledged GGC’s commitment to strengthening existing relationships and commencement of new relationships to improve the grain industry in the country.

Source: GNA

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