Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) today added five more commodities, vetch (grass pea) and four spices (black cumin, coriander, black pepper, yellowish fenugreek, and greenish fenugreek), to its trading floor. On this first day of the trading of these commodities, a quintal of black cumin has been traded for 26,500 birr, while a quintal of fenugreek has been traded for 12,000 birr.
Higher government officials and invited guests have attended the ceremony of the introduction of the additional five commodities to ECX's trading floor. The addition of these commodities brings the total number of commodities ECX trades from 12 to 17.
Wondimagegn Negera, ECX's CEO, speaking on the occasion, remarked the move will greatly benefit 1.1 million spices producing Ethiopian farming households, as well as help increase Ethiopia's agricultural exports and secure additional foreign currency. It will also help address the illegal trading schemes of spices, he noted. Spices are mainly grown in coffee-growing areas, under the shades of coffee plants, without the need of additional farming land, Mr. Wondimagegn pointed out.
Ethiopia cultivates 348,000 tons of spices and 2.6 million tons of vetch (grass pea) every year, the CEO remarked. However, only 15,000 tons of spices and 775,000 quintals of vetch are exported every year. The trading of the commodities on ECX's trading floor will help ensure the quality of produce, increase export amounts, as well as secure better payment to the farmers, Mr. Wondimagegn indicated.
Woldemeskel Chala, Ethiopia's Minister of Trade and Regional Integration, for his part, emphasized the need to enhance foreign trade and secure more forex. He also lauded ECX's role in implementing modern trading schemes for the past 14 years and stressed the need to increase productivity, as well as maintain international quality standards. Mr. Woldemeskel further stressed the need to strengthen control of contraband trade all the way from cultivation to foreign trade.
ECX has vowed to increase its efforts to add more commodities to its trading floor.
Reporting and images by 2merkato.com staff