EXC may add Teff, sorghum, chickpeas

Ermias Eshetu, CEO of ECX
Ermias Eshetu, CEO of ECX

Teff, sorghum and chickpeas may be the next crops traded on the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange depending on the results of a two year study. The study includes the Ministries of Trade, Industry and Agriculture along with exporters.

Ermias Eshetu, CEO of ECX told Capital that adding the crops will benefit buyers and sellers.

“We haven’t finished the study yet but in general when products are traded on our market their price becomes more stable,” he said.

Some traders counter that because these items are in high demand trading them at ECX may disrupt the market. Teff is Ethiopia’s largest crop with 44.2 million quintals produced and a yield of 14qt per hectare, according to a 2013/14 Central Statistical Agency (CSA) agricultural report on major crop production.

However Ermias disagrees, saying that ECX simply facilitates the transaction using modern techniques which save time and energy. If a person knows the price of an item on the ECX market they will know in general what the price should be in markets near them.

Currently coffee, sesame, white pea, red kidney and green mung beans are traded at the ECX market. Over two million quintals of chickpeas and 26 million quintals of sorghum are produced annually.

ECX aims to revolutionize Ethiopia’s tradition bound agriculture through creating a new marketplace that serves all market actors, from farmers to traders to processors to exporters to consumers. ECX also creates opportunities for unparalleled growth in the commodity sector and linked industries, such as transport and logistics, banking and financial services.

ECX commenced trading operations in April 2008.