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Kenya gets new online grain trading platform

PXAfrica Limited has launched an online grain exchange in Kenya, providing a platform for wheat and maize trading

A subsidiary of the US-based PanXchange, Inc., the firm has already attracted 20 subscribers who represent about 35 per cent of the local grain market. It also has users in Tanzania and Uganda.

“Recruiting smallholder farmers and expanding into cross-border trading were activities we had planned for next year’s crop but we have already witnessed uptake of both in the first two weeks of going online,” said Julie Lerner, CEO of PanXchange, in a statement.

Through the platform, traders in grains will be able to meet with target farmers, millers and warehouses. The firm also plans to add more grains such as millet, soya bean and beans, according to Lerner.

Launched as a pilot programme last year, the firm was betting on increased trading to allow growth of a vibrant futures market as a remedy to fluctuating prices.

Earlier this year, the Eastern Africa Grain Council had launched G-Soko, another online grain trading platform which links small-scale farmers and buyers. Another platform where Kenyan millers and farmers can access grain markets is the Kigali-based East African Exchange. The Nairobi Securities Exchange also has plans to set up a futures market for grains in the coming days.

These online platforms are expected to help farmers market their produce smoothly, cushioning them from fluctuating prices.

Mwangi Mumero