PS Trade and Enterprise Development Amb. Johnson Weru chairs the KOMEX meeting in his TelPosta Towers office boardroom
October 13th, 2020
By Public Communications Unit
The Government is in the final stages of rolling out the much awaited national commodity exchange that will enable farmers sell their produce at real-time market prices thus cutting out middlemen.
The Principal Secretary for Trade and Enterprise Development Amb. Johnson Weru said today that the roll-out plans were back on track after they were shelved early this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak worldwide.
Speaking during a Kenya National Multi-Commodities Exchange (KOMEX) board meeting, the PS said they planned to engage the National Treasury to inject some Ksh 1.6 billion as the initial capitalization fund, as well as recruit prospective investors to actualize the bourse which is expected to address challenges faced by small-scale farmers by providing a market through which buyers and sellers meet on a single platform.
He said KOMEX is currently based at the Kenya Institute for Business Training (KIBT) complex in Parklands, and will soon engage in an aggressive recruitment exercise for suitable technical officers to attain its commitment to structured commodity trading.
Amb. Weru said an operational KOMEX will ensure improved prices for farm produce thus encouraging farmers to further invest in production of different commodities. He noted that already the Warehouse Receipt System Council (WHRSC) mandated to among other things, improve commodity storage, reduce post-harvest losses among farmers and increase financial earnings to agricultural stakeholders is officially in place.
During the meeting attended by PS Mining Amb. Peter Kaberia and PS Cooperatives Mr Ali Noor Ismail, it was agreed that a multi-stakeholder KOMEX Taskforce/Advisory Committee be established in two weeks to urgently coordinate the operationalization of WHRSC and KOMEX, training of commodity exchange professionals and actors in partnership with KIBT.
KOMEX is already displaying information on various commodities on two giant screens outside its KIBT offices, and will roll out to all the 47 Counties. Their management system will be integrated with the trading platform, Warehouse Receipt System and certified warehouses.
Once fully operational, it is envisaged that local farmers will be empowered to make decisions on what crops to plant depending on the market prices, while their excess produce will be accommodated in identified warehouses. This will provide stability in product quality and guarantee farmers improved profit margins.