Kenya is scouting for local and foreign investors to raise Sh2 billion for an agricultural produce exchange.
The Kenya National Multi Commodities Exchange (Komex) will operate warehouses where farmers will deposit produce for storage pending a decision to sell when prices improve.
In a media notice, Trade PS Chris Kiptoo said the exchange is seeking Sh2 billion for the planned initial investment with investors expected to sink in a minimum of Sh5 million.
“Komex will have a diverse shareholding structure comprising of government, farmers, their co-operatives, individuals, institutional, financial and foreign investors. This will be the anchor investors that will ensure its success,” reads part of the notice.
Search for investors, said the notice, would enable Komex to raise startup funds for the establishment of its secretariat, its eco-system infrastructure and a settlement guarantee fund, among other spending.
Mr Kiptoo said farmers would be the biggest beneficiaries as the market forces would dictate produce prices across the East African region.
“A commodity exchange will address supply chain weaknesses where, for example, maize farmers get very little compared to flour prices. They are not comparable because of too many parties in between. We want to create a platform that allows the interaction between the supplier and the trader or the consumer directly,” he said.
Komex will draw produce from Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda that have since signed co-operation agreements for 18 commodities.