By MAIMBOLWA MULIKELELA -
ZAMBIAN farmers will now be able to sell their crops which are not yet harvested or planted through the agricultural commodity exchange market.
This follows the launch of the Zambian Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE) which has signed an agreement with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
ZAMACE acting chairperson Richard Lisimba said the agreement with JSE would within six months enable ZAMACE to project prices of crops not yet harvested, or even planted as was the case in South Africa.
ZAMACE aims to provide an efficient and vibrant agricultural commodity exchange supported by a warehouse certification and receipt system to enhance market access, liquidity and credibility.
Mr Lisimba said ZAMACE would also implement the warehouse receipt system that would enhance market access, liquidity and credibility in the commodity markets.
He said this during the launch of ZAMACE in Lusaka on Tuesday.
Mr Lisimba explained that ZAMACE would provide a number of services such as the certification of warehouse, issuance of negotiable warehouse receipt, a trading platform for the farmers and Zambia commodities futures contracts with JSE.
“We have concrete plans on the rollout of these services countrywide and to demonstrate this fact, we are today witnessing the opening of an initial certified warehouse space of 300,000 tonnes that is available to receive grains and issue ZAMACE warehouse receipts,” he said.
ZAMACE also signed an agreement with Musika Development Initiative to support the commodity exchange market move towards commercial self-sufficiency.
Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda said the launch of ZAMACE would limit the involvement of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in the grain marketing season thereby increasing private sector participation.
Mr Lubinda said there was need to provide an efficient and vibrant agricultural commodity exchange that was supported by a warehouse certification and receipt system to improve the commodities market.
Meanwhile, Musika managing director Reuben Banda has said his organisation had provided technical assistance and financial support to a tune of US$249,700 to maintain ZAMACE operations.