Super Easy to Track Trends in Farm Produce Prices!

Super Easy to Track Trends in Farm Produce Prices!

Farm Produce Prices Available Online!

Whether you are a researcher in the food commodities sector, an agriculturist, a wholesaler, why even a householder who likes to keep a watch on the budget,  you may be interested in keeping track of trends of farm produce prices,  is it not?  But, how does one get the price trends? Is there one place where the  farm produce prices of all the supplies that come to the wholesale markets are tracked?

Meghalayas-oldest-traditional-market Well, what do you know! There is!  Did you know that, for the State of Meghalaya, the farm produce prices  are available on the State Agricultural Marketing portal? Truly commendable that this data is being kept up to date. One can find trends for vegetables, spices, many kinds of fruits and even flowers.  Of course the data supplied is only for produce that the farmers reach to the Government wholesale regulated markets, the Shillong wholesale market (Iewduh) and other major rural primary wholesale markets existing across the state. There are still many other high value produce which are NOT on this list owing to low volume/ supply.

A few days ago the Zizira explorers were in the ‘curios to know’ mode.  Meghalaya produces a special variety of chilli called Bird’s eye chilli which sells at a high price and the quest was to know if we can study the market price trend of that variety of chilli. Learn about the government schemes to help farmers. Download ebook. That was when we found a Government Website for price data and followed these steps: (Please refer to the image below and scroll down for the steps)

Meghhalaya agricultural marketing portal

  1. Went to the Meghayala State Agricultural Marketing portal
  2. Clicked on Price Trend in the menu on the LHS and selected the Monthly price trend
  3. Selected Chilli from the drop down list in the Commodity Name
  4. Selected the month (As April 2016)
  5. Clicked on Submit.
Click here to check it out or yourself! The output was a visually appealing graph that you see on the right. Impressive is it not? Price trend of a local variety of green chilli that came to the wholesale markets of Meghalaya in April 2016. The price that you see on the left - along the Y-Axis - is for one quintal of chilli. (one Quintal = 100 Kgs).
Did you know? The All India Standard of Wholesale price reporting is Rupees per Quintal. Here is what the graphs shows - the average price of fresh chilli that arrived at different markets in Meghalaya in April 2016 ranged from Rs. 4,000 per quintal (which means Rs. 40 per Kg) to Rs. 16,000 per quintal (which is Rs. 160 per Kg).

Price-trend-of-chilli-in-April-'16-from-Govt

I believe providing farm produce prices is an initiative of the Govt. of India at the country level under what is called 'Agmarknet'.

Agmarknet portal provides real time market data from markets across the country and is accessible to anyone with Internet facility. Information is sent even through email and SMS.

Yes, you can get alerts even on your phone or in an email! Impressive is it not?  Back to where our quest started...

Fresh-Bird's-eye-chilli
Fresh Bird’s eye chilli in a wholesale market. The dried version can command a price of Rs. 1000 a Kg or more.
But, we could not find the price for a specific variety of chilli, the Bird’s eye chilli! Remember that was what we started to look for - the price trend of Bird's eye chilli in the wholesale markets of Meghalaya!  So, what next? Why not reach out to the Department of Horticulture itself and ask them? That is what we did. It is truly wonderful to see how well informed and helpful the officials are. We got the answer to a question of ours. See for yourself.
Q: The website shows the price of Chilli. Which variety is this?
A: This is the price of a local variety. The prices reported in the Meghalaya State Agricultural Marketing portal is mainly for major commodities of the State and does not cover sub-categories. In case of crop/commodity where the variety is known, like Lakadong turmeric or Nadia Ginger, an option is provided for market reporters to also mention/select the name of the crop variety while reporting the wholesale market price. In case the variety is not specified/known, then the "local variety" is used to categorize the variety reported. 
However, in case of chilly, there are many local varieties grown across the state it is not reported as sub category/variety/cultivar. The official added: SMS facility is being provided to farmers who need data to make selling decisions - how much to sell for and where to sell, etc. Farmers who do not have access to computer and Internet can subscribe to up to 10 markets/commodities. The market prices is then automatically delivered to them everyday, through SMS. That too free of cost!
In fact the Department of Agriculture, Meghalaya and the National Informatics Centre, Meghalaya have now developed an android based mobile App which can be installed in mobile phones of farmers/market users/traders having Internet facility to download real time market prices and arrival data directly on their mobile phones!
This is a service extension to reach more farmers/users via mobile apps. (Source: Mr. Canning Shabong, Assistant Director of Agriculture,  Meghalaya. Read his post on Zizira)

We did not immediately find the price trend of bird’s eye chilli that comes to the wholesale markets of Meghalaya, but the discovery was that there is a Meghalaya State Government Marketing portal that provides farm produce prices! 

Okay! This is not a huge discovery which made Zizira explorers jump up with joy for the farmers! Yet important learning and very satisfying to see that Government agencies are trying to do what best is possible to help the farming community. Do you agree? Tell us what you think. Add them as comments.

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