Ethiopia has unveiled an online platform that will help farmers to play a role in the determination of prices for their products. The Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) officially inaugurated the eTRADE Platform on Thursday.
According to ECX, 2,390 metric tonnes of farm produce have been traded on the platform with a trade value of ETB 120million or about $5.7 million.
The launch of eTRADE would enable market players to trade electronically from anywhere.
Initial trading would take place at the ECX HQ Trading Center before it is gradually rolled out to the newly built regional trading centres in regional cities.
ECX chief executive officer, Ermias Eshetu, said that the platform carries with it, unparalleled economic and social benefits.
“The platform inevitably breaks the physical and time barrier of the current Open-Out-Cry trading platform and provides the ECX with vital economies-of-scale to trade a number of additional new commodities,” he said at the inauguration.
The project followed collaboration with the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) and other partners.
ICF chief executive officer, William Asiko, stated that the platform would revolutionarise Ethiopia’s agriculture sector.
“The modernisation of ECX will help to improve the business environment for stakeholders involved in the commodities sector and give Ethiopian agricultural products a competitive advantage,” he said.
“But for farmers, this modernisation will be life-changing. It will enable farmers to get better pricing for their produce, thereby creating a more equitable distribution of wealth that has far reaching social implications,” he concluded.
The new platform has the capacity to carry nearly 5000 times more transactions than its current “Open-Out-Cry” or “Pit-Trading” platform, according to ECX.
Since its establishment in 2008, ECX has become a symbolic exchange in Africa that has empowered smallholder farmers.