Agro-BIG News

Market Information System Development Underway

One of the key constraints identified in both potato and onion value chain analysis is the fact that there has been a lack of an efficient and effective market information system.

A marketing information system is a "system in which marketing data is formally gathered, analyzed and disseminated to end users including farmers, traders, agro dealers and consumers in accordance with their informational needs on a regular basis."

In many organizations today an MIS is integrated as part of a computerized system. Access to pro-poor ICT based market information service is a limiting factor both for producers and entrepreneurs.

Bureau of Trade and Transport (BoTT) has been striving to introduce a web based and interactive voice market information system in the region. There has been a gap to avail reliable and timely market information in a go-live manner for value chain actors. Price information has been delivered by brokers and traders. Producers were often disadvantaged in accessing price information and forced to be ‘price takers.’

Cognizant of this fact, Agro BIG has been supporting BoTT to facilitate the assessment of the current state of market information delivery system in the programme intervention woredas focusing on onions and potatoes. The overall objective is to make the selected value chains competitive and profitable and making timely market information delivery on production, marketing, price of inputs and outputs, where and when to sell their produce and at what quality and standards.  To this effect, BoTT has signed a contract agreement with BDU/ERI and a team of experts have been participated in the assessment and design of the system based on the agreed ToR.

A half day validation workshop has been facilitated to review the findings and comment on the proposed MIS. Moreover, a half day briefing session has been organized to the Regional officials, whereby the regional president and his deputies have attended, to create awareness and get support.

Discussion has been made on the proposed ICT based MIS and action plans. To realize the action plans, Birr 11.4 million is suggested, mainly for software development, procurement of ICT facilities and staff training.  The Regional government has expressed its commitment to translate action plans a reality.