Source: The Hindu Businessline

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad, Nov 9 

After weathermen, it is the turn of agricultural scientists and economists to utilise technological tools to forecast the prices of commodities before and after the two crop seasons of kharif and rabi. They are in the process of culling out data gathered by different government agencies for over a decade to indicate farmers what is in store for them if they grow this or that crop.

An expert associated with the project points out that this forecasting method would go a long way in equipping the farmers and policy makers to better plan the cropping patterns.

Market intelligence system

The country is in the process of formulating an IT-based solution to create a market intelligence system to forecast the prices. Sponsored by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), the Network Project on Market Intelligence (NPMI) will hold a national-level brainstorming meet on November 10 and 11 in New Delhi.

NPMI is focussing on developing marketing intelligence-based forecasting capabilities for Bengal gram, chilli, cotton, groundnut and maize. The conference will review the progress of the project, being collaboratively taken up by different agricultural institutes across the country. The National Council for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (NCAP) is coordinating the project as per the guidelines of the Planning Commission.

“We are using econometric analysis using different IT solutions, assessing the secondary data collected by different government agencies for about 12 years. We have taken the suggestions of traders too as we arrive at the forecast,” a senior official of Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University told BusinessLine.

“The price forecasts would be made four times in a year two for kharif (pre sowing and pre harvesting) and two for rabi. We will use media to disseminate the forecasts,” the official said.

Forecasts for kharif season

The university, which is forecasting prices for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, has just come out with its first set of forecasts for the kharif season. Forecasts made by different institutes across the country under the project will be discussed at the national conference. The team has forecast a price of Rs 3,900-4,500 a quintal for groundnut, Rs 1,250-1,350 for maize and Rs 7,800-8,600 a quintal for chilli. (Source: The Hindu Businessline)