ACE Warehouse Receipt Systems Workshop
By Frank Kadzakumanja
Agricultural Commodity Exchange (ACE) hosted the ACE workshop on Warehouse Receipt Systems on 12 September, 2012 at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe.
Over 100 participants took this unique opportunity to foster new partnerships, exchange ideas, identify best practices, and formulate a framework for
warehouse receipt financing. Representatives from the financial sector, trading companies, regulatory agencies, and development banks joined the event.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, The Controller of Agriculture and technical services Mr Wilfred Lipita said the Ministry
was pleased with the Warehouse receipt development and how it is benefiting the smallholder farmers find better markets."The warehouse receipt is a
guarantee to the farmer that not only will he find reliable markets for his produce, he is able to store his produce in well built structures hence avoid post harvest
losses which could hinder his agricultural activities," he said Also speaking at the workshop, the Chairman for Agricultural Commodity
Exchange (ACE) trust, My Dyborn Chibonga said the ACE Trust was established to ensure that the interests of small farmers have the highest priority in the
activities of ACE. "ACE now has 40 registered users in 6 countries. In Malawi it is a good mix of farmer organisations, NGOs and private sector. The international
interest is predominantly from companies who are interested in buying commodities from Malawi through ACE. "He said.Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) deputy

governor for financial institutions supervision Dr. Grant Kabango said in Malawi, like in many developing economies, the smallholder farmers form the backbone

of agriculturalproduction. They also represent an emerging market opportunity for local and international agribusiness alike. As such, any initiative involving a small
farmer, such as the ACE warehouse receipt system, is expected to enhance more efficiency and improvement in their links to other markets. He further
applauded ACE for facilitating commodity marketing for smallholder farmers and said that the initiative has come at a very crucial time as Malawi strives to revive
its economy. Also speaking at the same function was Principal Advisor for AgriculturalCommodity Exchange for Africa (ACE), Mr Kristian Schach Moller who hailed

the warehouse Receipt system as key to the farmer to explore more opportunities. He
said that, in the past, it was a "catch 22 situation" because buyers wanted farmers to aggregate before they could buy but farmers had no access to commercial
storage.

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Presentation By ACE Principal Advisor Kristian Schach Moller

To showcase some of ACE activities to the participants at the workshop, WorldFood Programme (WFP) placed a bid to buy 651.68 MT of Maize through ACE
using a system called Bid Volume Only (BVO) in which sellers put offers to sell at certain prices in particular quantities and about 40 farmers and business
executives took part iion this exercise. Farmers also took the floor to explain how their livelihoods have improved after using the warehouse receipt system (WRS).