Frequently Asked Questions

This is a list of 'frequently asked questions' (FAQ's) and their answers concerning the website:


Question: Why should I make use of this website and trading platform?

Answer: First. It is all about "basis trading". The South African grain market developed over the last 15 years to consist out of four big buyers, a couple of agents and thousands of farmers. Grain was contracted from farmers by agents over large areas. This grain was often mixed for upgrading purposes, and then offered to buyers by agents as large lots, causing basis trading to be almost non-existent. Basis trading means a specific product is offered to market at a specific location with its specific physical qualities. The main goal of the developers of 'FARMEX' was to create an instrument to facilitate individual basis trading in the agricultural grain market.

Second. The FARMEX trading platform was developed to trade physical agricultural products, over the internet, in a transparent but anonymous manner. Using the internet and mobile technology is the way of the future. This fact is evident in other business sectors. Farming and agricultural businesses have to follow this lead.


Question: Who is behind this website?

Answer: This website is the brainchild of a group of farmers in the Western Cape. The website is managed by SA WheatCashMarket (Pty) Ltd. The shareholders of 'SAWCM' are all active in the agricultural industry.


Question: Trade in the agricultural industry mostly happens via agents. Would farmers be able to fulfill this marketing role by themselves?

Answer: Technological developments in the agricultural industry enhanced supply competition which caused profit margins to constantly decrease. This means that farmers have to add value to their products in the supply chain as far as possible. FARMEX is a marketing tool which can be used to shorten this agricultural supply chain.


Question: Is it user friendly? Would farmers and buyers be able to use it easily?

Answer: This website was developed by a farmer with inputs from traders, agents and buyers in the agricultural industry. Its main goal is to be easy to use, accessible and transparent. The development process took almost two years to complete and much time and effort was spend to achieve this goal.


Question: Isn’t this website just an electronic substitute for a human agent?

Answer: No. FARMEX is a tool for sellers and buyers of physical agricultural products. This tool facilitates the marketing of products, negotiations on price, and produces a binding contractual agreement between the two parties. The operation of this tool is totally in the hands of the buyer or seller.


Question: What are the costs involved to make use of this instrument?

Answer: Registering and listing your products for auction is free. SA WheatCashMarket (PTY) Ltd charges a fee, 1.5% of the final contract price, on an auction which reached a contractual agreement. Businesses can also rent advertise space in our ‘classifieds’ section at a nominal monthly fee.


Question: Why do you (the creators of this website) think there is a need for a marketing instrument like this?

Answer: Farmers need more control and influence over the marketing of their products. We believe that agents or traders are not always marketing, or negotiating, what is best for the farmer. FARMEX is a transparent trading platform where farmers can participate on their own behalf. We also believe that an alternative marketing instrument, like FARMEX, would be good for farmers, buyers and the industry in general.


Question: What are the delivery and payment risks with transactions on the FARMEX trading platform? What is FARMEX’s role in these transactions?

Answer: The delivery and payment processes happen between buyers and sellers directly. FARMEX's role is to ensure that these processes proceed without problems as far as possible. This is done by contractual agreements and FARMEX is the instrument to reach these agreements. Thus, the buyer pays the seller directly and the seller delivers to the buyer directly but under strict contractual guidelines.


Question: How will I know if someone placed a bid on my auction? Must I access the website everyday to check this?

Answer: Communication between FARMEX and its users happens via e-mail and mobile messages. Once you have listed your product, FARMEX will let you know, via e-mail or mobile messages, when you received a bid or when your auction has closed with a buyer committing to the transaction.


Question: How much did you focus on the needs of buyers?

Answer: The FARMEX trading platform listing process was developed specifically for the needs of buyers. Specification information of listed items is as detailed as any agricultural products trading contract. We added special features like the attachment of quality certificates, silo receipts or photos of items. FARMEX also has a 'Wanted Bulletin Board' where buyers are given the opportunity to ask for specific items they need.


Question: Why is this website only in English? Most farmers are Afrikaans speaking!

Answer: The FARMEX trading platform was developed to be user friendly to buyers from all countries that are neighbors to South Africa. This is the reason why the developers chose to make it English only.


If you have any questions or suggestions concerning this website and trading platforms, please contact us at: