have grown-up with ECX
cooperative union from North Shoa zone is one of ECX intermediary members. The union has been trading pea beans and
coffee in ECX. Recently, it has brought green mung beans into ECX
trade floor and is trading once in a week, which increases the ECX’s
commodities number to six.
Ato Yirdaw Alemu, who
is the general manager of the union, expressed that the farmers’ cooperative
union was established in 1996 E.C in Debre Birhan city. In the beginning, it
incorporated 18 farmer associations from 12 Woredas in North Shoa zone. The
union’s initial capital was 724,000 birr with registered 11,000 small holder
farmer members benefiting from it.
“We have achieved remarkable successes in all
sectors,” says Ato Yirdaw. And he goes on to say, “The number of farmers’
associations has grown from 18 to 74. The small holder farmers’ number has also
increased to 65,000. The union’s capital
reached 39 million birr. Besides, we have built G+3 multi-purpose business building
to use as head office. We are generating additional income by letting it. We have
also constructed our own huge warehouse which is capable of storing 50,000
quintals. In addition, we have
established agro processing plant including flour factory. We have also bought
two lorry and field vehicles.”
Acording to Ato
Yirdaw the union is working in four major areas such as supplying agricultural
inputs, delivering industrial products to the farmers by purchasing from
different industries, supplying food items to hospitals and universities. In
the sector of agro-processing, they are supplying flour as well as dairy
products to the market and farmers are highly benefiting from this animal
“Before joining ECX
as intermediary member, we used to trade agricultural products such as pea
beans and mung beans purchasing from the farmers. After becoming ECX member, we have been trading
pea beans using the Exchange’s facilities. Since January 2014, with the support of the
Exchange we are trading mung bean as a sixth commodity in ECX trade floor.
“Our participation in
ECX is benefiting not only the members of the union but all the small holder
farmers as well. Previously, the
farmers’ were selling their produce at low price to individual traders. Now our union is buying their products with
“We have exported
limited amount of chick peas to Pakistan, India, Russia and UEA. I have also traveled
to Dubai to participate in DUBAI international trade fair and expo; I had a
chance to meet and discus with our business partners in person. We learnt from
our discussion that quality plays crucial role in international market. So, we
are making preparations to export the type of chick peas they recommended. In addition to this, we are to export mung
beans to southern Asia and Latin American countries.
“We should be
thankful about ECX. It has transformed the Ethiopian traditional trading system
in to modern marketing system with technological advancement and transparency.
It has also created reliability among business community members who engaged in
the agricultural commodity trade.
“I can say that the
clearing and settlement systems are really wonderful,” said the manager. As he
remembered that, previously, payment was one of greatest risk areas for
sellers. Now they trade their commodities today and they find their money in their
account next day. He also appreciated the Exchange’s endeavors in raising the
awareness of new clients about the system.
As Ato Yirdaw suggested, ECX should build
capacities of market actors particularly the cooperative unions so that small
holder farmers who grow the crops produce better quality and further benefit
from the modern trade.
Wodera union is in a big ambition to enter the
export sector extensively. “We will also strengthen the importing of various
agricultural inputs and the distribution of them to the farmers in reasonable
price,’” Ato Yirdaw concludes.