The Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) is adding two more agricultural products, soybeans and chickpeas, to its trading floor in the next three months, pushing the total number of commodities traded to nine.
To add the commodities, ECX finalised the market viability assessment concerning the country’s resource of the commodities.
Global demand for the two commodities and the recurrent request from farmers are the primary reasons to add the commodities to the trading floor, according to Netsanet Tesfaye, corporate communications manager at ECX.
Ethiopia is ranked ninth globally in chickpeas production. In the last fiscal year, the country harvested 499,425tn of chickpeas from 242,703ha; and 86,467.8tn of soybeans from 38,072ha, according to data from the Central Statistical Agency.
Soybean exports are destined for India, Kenya, Vietnam, Sudan, China and the United States. In the first quarter of the past fiscal year, the county exported 5,024tn of soybeans and generated 68.1 million Br. Soybeans are largely produced in Oromia, Benishangul Gumuz, Amhara and SNNP regional states. Amhara and Oromia regional states are known for the production of chickpeas.
“We have prepared our warehouse to receive the commodities,” Netsanet said.
Warehouses in Addis Abeba, Adama, Gondar, Bure and Kombolcha will be designated for chickpeas, while Bure, Nekemt and Pawi will be used to store soybeans.
Currently, ECX, which has 347 members, is trading white kidney beans, red kidney beans, sesame, coffee, maize, wheat and masho.
It will benefit all the parties involved in the value chain, according to Getachew Yirga, a university lecturer at Bahir Dar Univerisity.
“Farmers and exporters will mainly benefit from it,” he said, “and it will also encourage farmers to cultivate the commodities as it will assure them a market opportunity.”
However, exporters such as Dejene G/Meskel General Export & Import Plc and Wubet Nega Exporter Plc beg to differ.
“We would get no benefit from this trade,” said Emagneneh Aleme, communications manager at Wubet Nega Exporter. “Rather, it has a positive impact on farmers.”
Getu Mulisa, export manager of Dejene G. Meskel General Export & Import, agrees with Emagneneh.
“As there are many brokers between us, we will not receive many benefits from this,” said Getu.
However, Getachew stresses that ECX has to work on assisting the farmers to focus on producing quality products with the commodities.
ECX has already finalised the processes including market assessment, sampling and agreements with regional states for chickpea and it is sampling soybeans, according to Netsanet.
“We will soon table the proposal of adding the two commodities to the govering board of ECX and then to the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange Authority for final approval,” said Netsanet.
In the first 18 days of September, ECX traded 18,103tn of agricultural commodities worth 1.1 billion Br. Coffee takes the lion’s share, both in value and volume. Kidney beans, sesame and green Masho follow.
Last week, ECX welcomed Yinager Dessie (PhD), governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia, as its board chairperson, replacing Sani Redi who was recently appointed as state minister for Agriculture & Livestock Resource.
The newly formed ECX board of directors has 11 members, including Getahun Mekuria (PhD), minister of Innovation & Technology, Abdisa Yadeta, director general of the Federal Transport Authority, Haileyesus Bekele, president of the Development Bank of Ethiopia, Abebe Abebayehu, an aide to the Prime Minister, and Abdela Bagerish, general manager of SA Bagersh.
Established a decade ago, ECX mainly trades agricultural commodities within its central trading system. It also provides services like warehouse delivery, product grade certification and market information.
Before the conclusion of this fiscal year, ECX is also planning to add niger seed and legume to its trading commodities, according to Netsanet.
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