The Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX), in collaboration with ARB Apex Bank, the Apex body for all community and rural banks in Ghana, organized training seminars for over a hundred representatives of selected banks across the country.
These sessions were organized to enable these representatives to understand structured trading and Warehouse Receipt Financing.
The training which was conducted in two phases saw Directors, Chief Executive Officers and Line managers of these selected banks gather in Kumasi for the training sessions in the southern zone while those conducted for the northern zone was held in Bolgatanga.
The training sought to introduce participants to structured trading and warehouse receipt financing; as well as the risks involved in structured trading.
While delivering his address, the Chief Executive officer of the Ghana Commodity Exchange, Dr Kadri Alfah explained that the Warehouse Receipt System and for that matter Warehouse Receipt Financing would be a game-changer in providing access to financing and deepening financial inclusion, focusing specifically on our farmers.
He bemoaned the fact that although Agriculture contributes some 20% to Ghana’s GDP and also employs 60% of our workforce, less than 3% of bank financing goes to agriculture. “This is an unfortunate situation. Financing agriculture using warehouse receipts offers a greater opportunity and comfort for banks to lend to this important sector of our economy” Dr Kadri explained.
With the Warehouse Receipt financing Scheme, farmers do not have to present any landed property or Machinery to support their loan process, all they need instead is a warehouse receipt representing a certain quality and quantity of commodity stored in a GCX certified warehouse.
He further stated that all commodities in the GCX warehouses were insured against fire, theft, burglary as well as natural disasters. Again, the Exchange has set up a Performance Guarantee fund to manage all non-insurable risks. ‘’A Warehouse Receipt System without a performance guarantee fund is not a complete system and cannot be trusted’’, Dr Kadri, explained.
The ARB Apex Bank and GCX signed a warehouse receipt financing agreement in March 2019 to support Ghanaian farmers with financing to improve their production and livelihoods.
The Head of Credit and Research of Apex Bank, Gordon Dery, stated in his remarks that the Management of Apex was in full support of the Warehouse receipt system as it offers a good opportunity to increase lending to the farmers who form a majority of their clientele base.
According to him, ARB Apex has created a loan product for the Warehouse Receipt Financing and was ready to roll out. ‘’We are ready, and we have the funds available. We only want the rural banks to apply’’, Mr Dery reiterated.
The GCX took the opportunity to take the participants on a tour of the GCX warehouses at Ejura, Wenchi, Tamale and Sandema. The participants were highly elated at the level of professionalism exhibited at the warehouses.