11.06.2013

So buyers can negotiate purchase on the basis of the description of the crop in the warehouse receipt and, after making payment, arrange the logistics of collection.

Farmers can transact directly with larger-scale buyers such as wholesalers, processors and exporters, without going through multiple layers of middlemen. This enhances the bargaining position of farmers and also shortens the marketing chain, improving producer margins. In addition, as trade is based not only on volumes but also on quality, producers will be able to enjoy quality premiums rarely obtained by smallholder grain farmers in most African countries. Standard weights have to be adopted under WRS and the receipted grains are weighed using properly calibrated scales. This minimises the risk of cheating on quantity which is quite common in the grain trade in Africa where weights and measures are rarely standardised. Currently, most smallholder farmers are compelled by various factors to sell the bulk of their produce during the harvest season, when prices are very low.