Centre plans agri market intelligence system
NEW DELHI: Seeking to build a key decision-making institutional mechanism for helping farmers take right calls for sowing and marketing of particular crops in particular areas, the Centre is working on a data-driven system of ‘market intelligence’ for farm sector.
Once the system is rolled out, farmers can get specific advisories on future prices of farm produce and also on whether to put more area or less area under a particular crop, keeping in view estimated demand. It will help them deal with the issue of ‘problem of plenty’ - a situation where the farmers have to suffer massive losses due to good production of food-grains.
“The agriculture ministry has decided to put the ICAR-National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (NIAP) on the job. This public sector research institution will give it a final shape on the basis of its past ground work”, said an official.
Asked about the move, the ICAR-NIAP director Suresh Pal told that though the institution has, so far, not received any formal communication from the ministry, it has developed a capacity which can be institutionalised and implemented taking states on board.
“The ICAR-NIAP had worked on the project for four years and developed the capacity to roll out the system as and when asked by the ministry. We had completed the research in coordination with 14 state universities”, said Pal.
The project, which was initiated under the then director of the ICAR-NIAP Ramesh Chand, was completed in March last year. Chand, currently member of the central government think tank Niti Aayog, has pitched the ‘market intelligence’ system as one of the key measures to deal with the situation where farmers have to suffer even during the year of record production.
Pal said, “First advisory should come at the time of sowing when you can advise farmers whether to put more area or less area under a particular crop. Second advisory should come at the time of harvest to tell farmers whether to sell their produce immediately or hold on it for few months.”