The USAID Feed the Future Production, Finance, and Improved Technology Plus (PROFIT+) project in Zambia has partnered with the Zambian Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE), the only agricultural commodities exchange in Zambia. The partnership will deliver the first organized electronic market system solution to Zambia’s agricultural sector. It will allow farmers to make more informed decisions about commodity sales.
ZAMACE was established in 2007 with assistance from USAID to improve agricultural commodity trade through the implementation of the Warehouse Receipt System (WRS). The Commodity Exchange allows farmers to trade certified crops on stock markets and use the warehouse receipts as Negotiable Instruments (utilized as collateral with participating financial institutions). This reduces the financial pressure on farmers, thereby eliminating the need for them to sell their crops at low prices to meet their short-term needs, such as school fees, medical costs, and improved agricultural inputs.
With support from PROFIT+, ZAMACE will roll out the ZAMACE MIS platform, based on an electronic information flow system. ZAMACE will collect, compile, and analyze agricultural commodity prices, agricultural stock markets, and supply-and-demand statistics for selected crops initially, growing to include agro inputs in the medium to long term.
Data collection will take place at the local level, utilizing existing market data collection avenues. New avenues will also be established to collect additional data for ZAMACE. In tandem with existing systems, ZAMACE will triangulate the prices and availability with other sources to confirm the information’s accuracy. This information will ensure that smallholder farmers are able to access the buyers or brokers offering the best prices for their commodities, enabling them to increase incomes and grow their businesses.