The recent issuance of the first grain warehouse receipts for Ghanaian grain farmers and traders aims to ease the process of receiving a loan, storing crops and increasing revenue from sales
The receipts, which are a record of deposit that can be held as collateral by banks and other financial institutions, were issued in Tamale, northern Ghana.
"This is equivalent to the first shot fired in a revolution, one that for the first time will facilitate secure storage of inspected and certified grain, the establishment of a transparent system of private sector grain stores and short-term financing of agricultural investments with negligible risk for lenders," said ACDI/VOCA's Olaf Kula in Accra.
The Warehouse Receipts System (WRS) is aimed at helping the country eradicate problems arising in agricultural marketing and credit including price changes, cheating on weights and quality and limited access to credit, according to the Ghana Grains Council (GGC).
Smallholder famers can benefit from direct linkage to more diversified markets, including buyers who are looking for standardised grain
stocks through the system.
Loans granted under the system can be used to cover expenses or make investments in time for the next harvest.
According to Kula, "Over the past two decades there have been a number of private and public sector-supported efforts to develop a viable grain warehouse receipting system in Ghana.
“This is truly a concept whose time has come, and we are grateful to USAID as well as the many private sector individuals that contributed time and capital to building the GGC."