AHL Commodities Exchange (AHCX), a structured market for legumes and other crops, has said the enactment of Warehouse Receipt Bill will bring order and sanity on the commodities market.
Speaking on Friday during a meeting with editors from various media houses in Blantyre, AHCX general manager Davis Manyenje said they have played a critical role in the formulation of the Bill, which is expected to be passed into law in the November meeting of Parliament.
“The Bill was on the order paper during the budget meeting of Parliament, but it was not tackled. Our hope is that the Bill will be tabled in the November meeting of Parliament,” he said.
A warehouse receipt system enables farmers to deposit storage goods, usually grain, in exchange for a warehouse receipt (WR). The WR is a document issued by warehouse operators as evidence that specified commodities of stated quality and quantity have been deposited at a particular location.
Manyenje said the law will ensure that the commodities market has confidence of buyers and sellers.
He reiterated that AHCX, which started its operations in 2013, is meant to transform the agricultural market and empower the country by providing a modern, efficient, fair and transparent platform for trading in commodities and other assets in a competitive and innovative manner. The exchange also upholds global standards.
In his presentation, AHCX communications manager Thom Khanje said a structured market for commodities is critical for the country at a time foreign exchange revenue from tobacco, the country’s main forex earner, is dwindling every year.
Over the past five years, earnings from tobacco have been on the downward spiral largely due to poor prices.
Commodities traded on AHCX include maize, soya beans, pigeon peas, groundnuts, red kidney beans, sunflower, cow peas and rice.
Apart from AHCX, Malawi also has Agricultural Commodity Exchange (ACE) for Africa.