Commodity News

Farmers Will Soon Get Price & Demand Forecasts for their Crops

A senior official of the Agriculture Ministry said that the government will provide price and demand forecasts for various important foodgrains as well as price-sensitive horticulture crops like onions from the upcoming kharif season so that farmers can take informed decision on cultivating different crops.

The official told “We will make pre-seasonal and concurrent prediction on demand as well as price of select commodities. Farmers can then use this as a valuable input while deciding on which crop to cultivate”.

He further said, “This will be exactly like the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) seasonal climate predictions. The forecast will be issued on a regular basis (probably on a fortnightly basis) in the sowing period”. Besides foodgrains, horticulture crops like potatoes, onions and tomatoes will be covered in the early stage.

Agriculture generally follows a cobweb theory. When a particular commodity is in short supply in a season, the prices rise. And in the next season, more farmers would tend to cultivate the same crop, which will lead to a crash in prices. The concurrent predictions are given so that growers could not only know the area sown for a particular crop but also the variation in its forecast prices. And this will help a cultivator grow some other crop, if the projected area is attained.

In October 2018, the Agriculture Ministry had formed a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) under the chairmanship of CEO of National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA), Ashok Dalwai. The first attempt to predict price and demand for agri commodities is based on recommendations made by an expert panel on Doubling Farmers’ Income which is headed by Dalwai.

A source informed that ICAR-NIAP will be the knowledge partner for the project. And TAC, time to time, would be recommending commodities on which price and demand prediction needs to be made by the ICAR-NIAP.

TAC would also sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with some agricultural universities in India on 27th December. The plan is to establish centres in various places so that regional forecasts can be made.

*Source - BusinessLine



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