Zimbabwe Launches Agricultural Commodities Exchange

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THE Zimbabwean government on Monday launched the agricultural commodities exchange that will ensure farmers get market determined prices for their commodities.

Zimbabwe previously had a commodity exchange which was closed when the government gave the monopoly to buy and sell maize and wheat to state grain procurer, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) in 2001.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube launched the commodities exchange which will be supported by a warehousing receipt system.

This means the government will no longer fix prices of agricultural commodities.

“The commodities exchange will provide an organized market of players across the agricultural commodities value chain which include small-scale to large-scale farmers, buyers, regulators, retailers, banking institutions and warehouse operators,” he said.

“This will close the existing arbitrage gaps caused by middlemen and stimulate price discovery,” Ncube said at the launch.

He said the exchange will encourage formalisation of small-scale farmers, thereby ensuring sustainability of farming activities, access to credit facilities through collateralization of agricultural produce and enhance farmers’ contribution to employment creation.