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Strengthening Horticulture Statistics and Market Intelligence Reports

Strengthening Horticulture Statistics and Market Intelligence Reports

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Published by Shubhendu Parth
Food and Nutrition Security Community

Solution Exchange for the Food and Nutrition Security Community
Consolidated Reply to the Query: Inputs for the 12th Plan - Strengthening Horticulture Statistics and Market Intelligence – Examples; Advice
Compiled by TN Anuradha, Resource Person and Deepika Anand, Research Associate Issue Date: 07 September 2011
Food and Nutrition Security Community

Solution Exchange for the Food and Nutrition Security Community
Consolidated Reply to the Query: Inputs for the 12th Plan - Strengthening Horticulture Statistics and Market Intelligence – Examples; Advice
Compiled by TN Anuradha, Resource Person and Deepika Anand, Research Associate Issue Date: 07 September 2011

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Food and Nutrition Security Community

Solution Exchange for the Food and Nutrition Security Community Consolidated Reply
Query: Inputs for the 12th Plan - Strengthening Horticulture Statistics and Market Intelligence – Examples; Advice
Compiled by TN Anuradha, Resource Person and Deepika Anand, Research Associate Issue Date: 07 September 2011

From KV Peter, World Noni Research Foundations, Chennai
Posted 10 August 2011 In recent years, the horticulture sector has emerged as an important component of the Indian Economy. Obtaining reliable statistics of horticultural crops has become one of the priority programmes for the Planning Commission. For preparation of various developmental programmes and for policy formulations the availability of adequate, reliable and timely statistics on area, yield and production estimates of horticultural crops is essential. Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture (DESMOA), generates and compiles data for production of horticultural crops. The second source of horticultural statistics is the National Horticultural Board (NHB), which publishes estimates of area, production and prices of all important fruit and vegetable crops based on reports furnished by the State Directorates of Horticulture and Agriculture. The present statistics on Horticultural Crops are unreliable and are only estimates made on arrivals in the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) markets. There is no effective mechanism of quantification at the producers‟ level. Market Intelligence is relatively new area that exploits open-source information gathered from global markets. It relies solely on publicly available information such as market prices and ancillary economic and financial data. On the recommendation of the Agricultural Prices Enquiry Committee, (1954), DESMOA set up 14 Market Intelligence Units (MIU) across the country. The units furnish regular reports on market arrivals, off-takes, stocks, crop prospects, and outlook of market prices. Though the data to be supplied by the market intelligence units are of great utility, the units have ceased to be effective in discharging their functions mainly due to a lack of proper direction and control of their activities. The methodology used in the DESMOA survey for estimation of production is complex, time consuming and not cost-effective. Horticultural crops are both perishable and non-perishable and require different approaches for MI studies to be of use to farmers. For example, festivals are periods when sizeable consumption happens and production for such maximum consumption periods is a logical proposition. It is

obvious that an alternative and more feasible methodology needs to be developed for estimating production of horticultural crops. In the above context, I request esteemed members of the community to share inputs on: 1. 2. 3. What are the challenges in compiling Horticulture Statistics and Market Intelligence Reports? What would be member‟s suggestions for a suitable procedural and institutional mechanism to streamline Horticulture Statistics and Market Intelligence? What steps are required to integrate producers closely to markets through contemporary price discovery platforms such as the Safal National Exchange of India Limited?

Responses were received, with thanks, from
1. DSK Rao, Gyantech Information Systems (P) Limited, Hyderabad 2. Jeso Johnson, Oxfam India, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 3. KD Singh, Academy of Forest and Environmental Sciences, Delhi (Response 1, Response 2) 4. Anupam Paul, Agricultural Training Centre, Kolkata, West Bengal 5. Arshinder Kaur, Eco & Agro Resource Management, Mohali, Punjab 6. S Bhattacharjee, North Eastern Regional Agriculture Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC), Guwahati, Assam 7. Hema Yadav, National Institute of Agricultural Marketing, Jaipur, Rajasthan 8. Omprakash Gadade, Sustainable Farm Services, Mumbai, Maharashtra 9. TM Gajanana and R Venugopalan, Section of Economics & Statistics, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore, Karnataka 10. KS Karnic, Independent Consultant, Bangalore, Karnataka*

*Offline Contribution Further contributions are welcome!

Summary of Responses Comparative Experiences Related Resources Responses in Full Summary of Responses
Horticulture data is essential for estimating growth, assess demand and supply trend, identify problems and constraints and evolve adaptive policies. In recent years, horticulture sector has emerged as an important component of the Indian Economy contributing one-fifth share of agriculture and allied sectors. Hence, the statistics of horticultural crops has become one of the priority programmes for the planning commission. The discussion dealt with the challenges of collating horticulture data suggesting institutional mechanisms for analysis and effective utilisation. Horticulture crops are diverse and grown round the year. The major constraint in estimation is that not all the produce reach market yards with some getting directly consumed, especially the

perishable type; many processed; appreciable part imported by retail chains; export; directly supplied to bulk consumers making market demand. The discussion raised concerns over availability of reliable and authentic base-line horticulture data due to methodological and operational problems of the sector. There is no effective mechanism of quantification at the producer level. The other challenges include:  Methodological issues leading to inaccurate area, production and yield statistics  Crop-cutting experiments not in place for accurate estimation of yield resulting in erroneous production estimates  The yield of perennial bearing and non-bearing orchards are not accurate due to lack of statistics  Price and arrival figures are not available for different varieties, which preclude rigorous price analysis and forecasting. There is also no correlation between the plant varieties distributed and the real production outcomes.  Non-systematic information round the year  Market Volatility The essence of a good market intelligence report is to be on time because statistics and data are as perishable as the product itself. To get this going it is probably necessary to create Panchayat level farm records with details of crops feasible on these farms as per soil and agro-climatic conditions and further mapped with actual cropping data. The producers brought into the system through village level (block level) product registration and seed availability. Smart technologies like GIS, GPS and Remote Sensing play an amazing role in creating a vast inventory. The crop growth and yield related parameters co-related with remote sensing data would be useful for projecting current and future changes and consequences. The state governments are not equipped with proper support to gather the desired information. There was strong indication to refine the methodology adopted for collecting primary crop statistics on area and production at micro level. Efficient sampling tools supported with extensive and systematic use of Information and Communication Technologies would improve Timely Reporting Scheme. Crop cutting experiments in horticultural crops will help correctly estimate the yield. There is a need to address the methodological gaps in quantitative measurement of important parameters (area, production and productivity) by framing suitable sampling strategies. Training of personnel in generation and analysis of these data is crucial. Utilising the cadre of agricultural graduates suggested who could be doing a dual task of guiding farmers on proper package of practices and collect data on crops grown with minutes of details. It was also felt extension service providers could play critical role regarding market intelligence who are involved in compilation of regular data either to the Krishi Vigyan Kendra or to their block based horticulture office. Crop based institutes could adopt a village and systematically collect primary crop statistics data as a pilot study using suitable sampling methodology, this could also include estimation of prices and arrivals. There is a not a single entity (Government/private/NGO) which collects information on arrival, price, quality, post harvest losses at rural markets. This gap itself is big enough to create discrepancies in data. The first contact point of a farmer is a rural haat. The data from producer groups/importers/exporters/seed companies used to crosscheck and keep a watch on market movement. The "traceability system" from the organic management systems referred as example for adoption as far as market intelligence of horticulture produce is concerned. Grade Standards provide a uniform language for describing the quality and condition of a product in the

marketplace that is a prerequisite to have good market information followed by market intelligence. However, one of biggest challenge is to have this uniformity in horticultural products. Forest Survey of India has published the state of forest report using remote sensing to assess the area under forests and the methodology employed has made the output GIS compatible. It provides an estimate every two years on forest trees, shrubs and herbs and on trees-outside forest too. The statistics also provided information on production, harvesting, storage, preprocessing and marketing of Non-Wood-Forest-Products (NWFP). Preparation of final maps depicting spatial distribution of forest types by collecting new information through ground verification and using recent satellite data and incorporating the same on Reference Maps as made easy updation. However, only some forest inventory measures can be adapted as horticulture fruit production inventory is more labour intensive based on the fruit grade and quality North-Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFI) has initiated a Data Bank that provides database on agro-horticulture sector district wise and even commodity wise. National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM) collected data of around 24 products of 150 rural markets to arrive at annual throughput. National Agricultural Marketing Atlas (NAMA) maps data of 5500 markets of the country the also included monthly price data for agriculture and horticulture products arriving in market. On the issue of market linkage to the producers, formation of growers associations preferably commodity wise, with written contracts, grade based pricing, to take advantage of distant markets advised. There is no doubt that there is an urgent need to revamp the existing horticulture data system that includes setting up proper institutional mechanism to review data collection mechanisms at grassroots level with required capacity. The granularity of the data collection with cross verification of the data from multiple channels would be the key for developing a strong baseline for application.

Related Resources
Recommended Documentation
From K D Singh, Academy of Forest and Environmental Sciences, Delhi Training Manual on Inventory of Trees outside forest Book; by J.K. Rawat, S. Dasgupta, Rajesh Kumar, Anoop Kumar, K.V.S. Chauhan. European Commission and FAO; 2003 Available at http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/006/AC840E/AC840E02.htm#TopOfPage

It provides insights into survey methods, describes procedures for data collection, data analysis, and formats for recording data during field surveys.

National Forest Type Mapping Book; by Forest Survey of India; Available at http://www.fsi.org.in/fsi_projects/national_forest_type_mapping.pdf (PDF; 143 KB)

It explains in detail the methodology for preparation of Forest Type Reference Maps using existing thematic maps and other data.

India State of Forest Report, 2009

Report; by Forest Survey of India. 2009; Available at http://www.fsi.org.in/sfr_2009.htm

It is the eleventh report in which remote sensing methodology has been employed to assess the area under forests and the output is GIS compatible.

From TN Anuradha, Resource Person
Methodology for Crop Estimation Article; http://agricoop.nic.in/statistics/methodol.htm;

The article describes different methodologies to estimate the area, production and yield of foodgrains and other crops including horticulture crops.

Horticulture Statistics Presentation; by Sudha Midha. Department of Agriculture and Cooperation Available http://mospi.nic.in/Mospi_New/upload/prs/17_prsnt/Horticulture_MOA&C_1_7april10.pdf 80.3 KB)

at (PDF;

The presentation informs about the horticulture census conducted in different states across India and the crops covered under each state.

Methodological issues related to horticultural statistics Article; by Tauqueer Ahmad, H.V.L. Bathla and S.D. Sharma; Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute Available at http://www.mospi.gov.in/4cocsso_paper_ahmed.pdf (PDF; 33.9 KB)

It explains the survey conducted to evolve a methodology for estimating area and yields of fruits and vegetables.

Problems in Horticulture Statistics Article; Available at http://www.mospi.gov.in/5cocsso_paper_introduction.pdf (PDF; 56.4 KB)

The article describes the horticulture sector in India in detail, the present status of the data, reliability, problems and the future strategies.

Manual on Horticulture Statistics (from Deepika Anand, Research Associate) Book; by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India; 2011; Available at http://mospi.nic.in/Mospi_New/upload/Manual_on_horticulture_stat.pdf (PDF; 2.25 MB)

Manual provides data/information on Horticulture with a ready-to-use reference guide on methodological aspects that can inter-alia facilitate international comparison.

Recommended Organizations and Programmes
From K D Singh, Academy of Forest and Environmental Sciences, Delhi
Department of Agriculture, New Delhi Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India, New Delhi; http://agricoop.nic.in/

The department deals with all matters affecting the development and improvement of the agricultural resources in the country.

Forest Survey of India, Uttarakhand Ministry of Environment and Forests, aulagarh Road, P.O. IPE Dehradun- 248195, Uttarakhand; Tel: 0135-2756139; jakati654@yahoo.co.in; http://www.fsi.org.in/index.php

Its principal mandate is to conduct survey and assessment of forest resources in the country.
National Horticulture Board, Gurgaon (from K D Singh, Academy of Forest and

Environmental Sciences, Delhi and Arshinder Kaur, Eco & Agro Resource Management, Mohali, Punjab) The board is responsible for the development and promotion of horticulture produce; strengthening market intelligence system and to carry out surveys.

Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, 85, Institutional Area, Sector - 18, Gurgaon 122015; Tel: 0124-2342992; Fax: 011-2342991 info@nhb.gov.in; http://www.nhb.gov.in

North-Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited, Assam(from S Bhattacharjee,

North Eastern Regional Agriculture Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC), Guwahati, Assam)

G. S. Road, Dispur, Guwahati, Assam. PIN - 781006; Tel: 0361-6115555-85; Fax: 0361-6115556 mail@nedfi.com; http://www.nedfi.com/;

It works towards the development of animal husbandry, agri-horticulture plantation, medicinal plantation, sericulture, aquaculture, poultry and dairy in the NE states of India.

From Hema Yadav, National Institute of Agricultural Marketing, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Technical Cooperation Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, Italy Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy; Fax: 039-06-5705-4385 tcp@fao.org; http://www.fao.org/tc/tcp/

The programme provides expertise to technical problems in the field of agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural livelihood to prevent from implementing their programmes.

National Institute of Agricultural Marketing, Jaipur Bambala, Kota Road, Jaipur-302033, Rajasthan; Tel: 0141-2770027; Fax: 0141-2771938 dgniam@hotmail.com; http://www.ccsniam.gov.in/index.html

It provides training to the various level functionaries in the area of agricultural marketing.

Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre, Bangalore (from Deepika Anand, Research

Associate)

Department of Agricultural Marketing, Cooperation and Business Management, University of Agricultural sciences, GKVK, Bangalore-65; Tel: 08023330153; uasb.mic@gmail.com; http://agrimarketell.com/content/home

It helps to forecast prices twice (Before sowing & before selling) for various crops grown in Karnataka to help stakeholders to take their sowing and marketing decisions.

Recommended Portals and Information Bases
National Agricultural Market Atlas, National Informatics Centre, New Delhi (from Hema

Yadav, National Institute of Agricultural Marketing, Jaipur, Rajasthan)
http://gisserver.nic.in/agmarknet/

It is an is an offshoot of the AGMARKNET with an additional component of spatial data. It provides GIS web interface to visualize the daily market scenario on National Map.

AGMARKNET Portal, Ministry of Agriculture (from Deepika Anand, Research Associate) www.agmarknet.nic.in

It caters to the needs of various stakeholders by providing agricultural marketing related information from a single window.

Responses in Full
DSK Rao, Gyantech Information Systems (P) Limited, Hyderabad The observation „The present statistics on Horticultural Crops are unreliable and are only right direction.

estimates made on arrivals in the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) markets. There is no effective mechanism of quantification at the producers level.‟ is I feel the first step in the

Horticulture Production & Market Intelligence is of importance due to the following reasons: 1. Horticulture Crops are grown round the year in India along with regular crops in many cases 2. All the Produce does not reach the market yards and part of the produce is consumed, especially the perishable type 3. Many Horticulture Crops are grown and processed as snacks, pickles, frozen foods, etc 4. Part of the Horticulture Crops are also stored in cold storages, Controlled Environment chambers 5. Appreciable part of Horticulture Crops especially fruits like apples, etc are being imported by retail chains, which makes the market demand assessment linkage to producer groups slightly more complicated 6. Horticulture Crops are also being exported 7. Horticulture Crops are also directly supplied to bulk consumers like hotels, restaurants, etc 8. Last but not the least, it becomes interesting and challenging to account 'Kitchen Gardens' India is supposed to be the country capable of producing 300 Horticulture Crops with nearly 1000 varieties in it's 128 agro-climatic zones. Unfortunately, many of these crops are no longer grown by farmers and as an example 16 Vegetable Crops with 119 Varieties are popularly grown in India! To get reliable data about horticulture statistics and market information a Three Pronged Approach is suggested: 1. Firstly, it is necessary to create Panchayat Level Farm records for all the 265,000 gram panchayats and the crops that are possible on these farms/ gram panchayat wise as per soil and agro-climatic conditions. This data has to be mapped with actual cropping data and the same can be captured by the CSC VLE (Common Service Centre Village Level Entrepreneur). 2. The Data from Producer Groups/Importers/Exporters/Seed Companies should then be cross linked to the above data. 3. Remote Sensing Data on a continuous basis (We have identified an organization capable of providing accurate data for any village in India on 1kmx1km resolution using satellite data from NASA) to cross verify. The Mantra is the Granularity of the data collection with cross verification of the data collected from multiple channels. It should be consolidated upwards from Gram Panchayats. This needs to be authenticated with periodic Market Research Studies to fine tune the Statistics/ Market Intelligence. This is essential as due to the Climate Change and it's impact other changes happening in the Agriculture Sector like urban migration by farmers and soil sterility due to mono cropping etc, there is a need to have a continuous updation mechanism. The data is no more going to be static and planning needs to be made keeping this in view.

Jeso Johnson, Oxfam India, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Due to the volatile market driven vegetable production, there's no accurate statistical information and the biggest challenge is-

1. To bring the statistics under one umbrella specially of vegetable producing farmers unless they are properly linked in the system. 2. Private market players might be decisive in information sharing, as the biggest volatile market is driven by them. 3. The information might be non-systematic round the year. To Streamline: 1. Develop a PPP model for effectiveness. 2. Streamline at State Government level by bringing the producers into the system through village level (block level) product registration and seed availability.

KD Singh, Academy of Forest and Environmental Sciences, Delhi (Response 1) You face a very challenging problem. The Agriculture Department has recently carried out and completed a comprehensive and impressive report on Agricultural Statistics for 12th Plan Funding. I got a copy from CSO about a month back and was very impressed by its comprehensiveness and quality. From the names of the expert they have involved in carrying out the study, I am almost sure that they will get full support of the Planning Commission and the Finance Department as well. Horticulture Sector (HS) is a very important area and I can only say that you take an effective and speedy action. Not only from an economic, but also social and environmental perspective, HS is very important. I am a forester specialized in Forest Assessment. We survey trees for wood production, but also fruits, seeds, bark, etc. The horticulture trees are very important resource from timber angle too. Kerala is a state with high population density and land pressure, but they exports firewood and timber in significant proportion from home-stead gardens. I am sure you would benefit from use of remote sensing and sample survey to obtain reliable, timely and cost-effective data. In forestry, we carry out assessment of Non-Wood-ForestProducts (NWFP), which I guess is quite close to your situation. We deal with production, harvesting, storage, pre-processing and marketing. Products are grown on scattered trees, home-stead or in compact areas. Produce are both non-marketed (for subsistence) and market economy. Different crops produce output in different seasons. You have to count not only stems, but yield per stem. Your species include trees, shrubs and herbs. In each case, you have to develop different protocol for collecting variety of information. My first advice is that you start with Information Need Analysis (INA) to identify, describe and quantify the needed information as completely as possible by different stakeholders involved in the production and consumption and marketing. In the process you associate a very good sample survey expert, who will learn from you what goes on with different produce in different phases from the original production point to the ultimate consumption point including processing and marketing including prices obtained. The sample survey expert will then start thinking of survey design for assessing state and change information for different produce in the most economic and reliable manner. In our sector, Forest Survey of India is doing very good work and they produce a very good report every two years on forest trees, shrubs and herbs and on trees-outside forest too. My advice, before closing is that you consult a very sample survey expert to suggest methodology, if not already known, to provide information using a sound approach. Use that report for funding proposal. Your time is not much, but you may still succeed in doing a good job.

Anupam Paul, Agricultural Training Centre, Kolkata, West Bengal

With regard to Horticultural Statistics, I would like to point out the following: 1. Agriculture is one of the most neglected areas of this agrarian country. The information that we receive is not accurate. The crops are diverse and area is inaccessible to agricultural/horticultural field workers and the number of workers are not adequate. 2. The horticultural produce like vegetables are coming to the markets almost every day and the markets behave differently. The retail seller gets the products via different middlemen. 3. The markets are the ideal places to take stock of the situation. There are some special HUT‟s (weekly village markets) which sell items like jackfruit, mango, banana, coconuts, arecanuts, betel leaves, etc. Also, there are markets for flowers like lotus, etc. Minor fruits like kendu, golapjamun, mangostene and phalsa are sold at places other than markets. In West Bengal, rural people enjoy more than 60 types of edible mushrooms which are not sold in proper markets. What we termed as disorganised markets may not be disorganised to the producers. Can we encourage barter system for survival in some cases as it enhances the social and rural fabric?

Arshinder Kaur, Eco & Agro Resource Management, Mohali, Punjab The query on „Development of Market Intelligence in the Horticulture Sector‟ is a challenging one. It requires development of man power and infrastructure. Infrastructure/Manpower development: 1. For having ground truth information of the orchards and vegetables; development of GIS data for the areas defined for horticulture produce in designated areas of villages/Panchayat areas. 2. Only some forest inventory measures can be adapted because horticulture fruit production inventory is more labour intensive based on the fruit grade and quality 3. State National Horticulture Boards can be a platform for manpower development where the auditors or district extension service providers can be given induction on: a. How to undertake the "ground truth" part; b. Where to do it; c. When to do it (based on the crop seasonality); d. How to efficiently use a GPS device. 4. Very often, the State Horticulture Boards have communication with the block/district based Krish Vigyan Kendra's where the manpower can be developed 5. As far as the market intelligence is concerned, in case of horticulture, it is important to have a baseline of the horticulture crop/stock/sapling growing in that district. Most often, the government horticulture nurseries if/when accessed by producers can maintain the data of the variety of stock sold to the producer and how much of the same has been and to whom/which producer with their address needs to be maintained which further be monitored by the Horticulture Board Offices. However, a major role regarding market intelligence can be played by the extension service providers (ESP's) and there is a need to establish a cadre of committed ESP's that bring in regular data either to the Krishi Vigyan Kendra or to their block based horticulture office. The "traceability system" from the Organic management systems can be a good adoption as far as market intelligence of horticulture produce is concerned. Often the problems encountered in this situation are, that there are no exact land records of the farmers available. At times,

because of non clarity of a land deed/title, information on the real producer is difficult to procure. In my experience, the producers very often are not even aware of the variety of the fruit that they are growing, as they are randomly given plants from Government nurseries. In some of the situations, farmers were just distributed fruit stock because the department had to complete a quota of plants distributed, without the producer having access to knowledge on the procedural aspects of plant growth, which in longer terms reduces the durability of the orchard and high level of mortality or factors such as water logging, drought increasing the orchard plant mortality. In these situations there is no correlation between the plants distributed and the real production outcomes.

S Bhattacharjee, North Eastern Regional Agriculture Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC), Guwahati, Assam The statistical scenario in the North Eastern States is very bleak. Though every state department has a wing to monitor the statistics but there is ample doubt on the facts and figures as most of the times that does not match either with the availability and or on the marketable surplus etc. North-Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFI) is an Organisation in north-east which has taken up this issue with gravity and initiated a Data Bank. Through this Data Bank it has started to provide database on agro-horti sector district wise and even commodity wise. This is a good cause initiated by NEDFI and has become very useful for marketing groups like NERAMAC, State Agriculture Marketing Board, etc. So, as far as Market intelligence is concerned, the issue is relatively very nascent in this part of the country. But the Assam State Agriculture Marketing Board is providing report on market arrivals, prices, etc only through local channels and bulletins. It is yet to make its impact for strengthening agro-horti marketing in the region.

Hema Yadav, National Institute of Agricultural Marketing, Jaipur, Rajasthan The challenges in obtaining a reliable horticultural statistics and market intelligence are intricate ones and requires a bottom- up approach enabled by technology and training. I would like to share some of the observations on the query:  Grade Standards provide a uniform language for describing the quality and condition of a product in the marketplace. Grade Standards are prerequisite to have a good market information followed by market intelligence, one of the biggest challenge to have this uniformity in horticultural products. This is also a first step to integrate with commodity exchanges. The personnel in units who prepare the market intelligence reports are required to be specialist with exclusive responsibly doing this task . The biggest challenge here is to provide them with technical training in drawing inferences from the data . Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through its Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) is one good programme which can help in making Market Intelligence unit a specialized one. Besides relying on Government department for market intelligence , maintaining direct contacts with sales persons, suppliers, brokers and buyers, market news reporters is essential to check the validity and reliability of data. Using Remote sensing and GIS, each State should have village data. At village level, the lowest mapping unit should be a soil unit based on All India Soil Survey Organization. Most the State would have this data, but we have not been able to use these map units

 

in creating a resource inventory. The idea is that each map unit should have information on slope, quality of soil, depth of water table, agricultural crop grown etc. It is this basic map unit which when compiled will give a correct area and Yield. It sounds a huge task but smart technologies like GIS ,GPS and Remote Sensing Play an amazing role in creating a vast inventory. Similar System is in practice in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) where each land parcel is digitized and hence compilation of area and yield data comes easy. The first contact point of a farmer is a rural haat in North Eastern States of the Country. Many varieties of fruits, vegetables flow to these markets in a fresh form. There is a not a single entity (Government/private/NGO) which collects the information on arrival, price, quality, post harvest losses at rural markets. This gap itself is big enough to create discrepancies in data. I would like to share one of my experience. In one of the project on rural markets, my team collected weekly data of around 24 products of 150 rural markets to arrive at annual throughput. It was one time and a first time exercise that we did, unfortunately there was no Department who had the responsibility of updating it or maintaining it and was willing to take it forward. I was also a team member for compiling market data for National Agricultural Marketing Atlas (NAMA) done by NIAM. The task of collecting data of 5500 markets of the country and putting on web took us five years. Besides the market data, we also collected data for arrival and weekly and monthly price data for agri and horti products arriving in market. It was huge task but we also realized that by the time data gets uploaded on web its already late. is to be on time because Statistics and data

The essence of a good market intelligence report are as perishable as the product itself.

Omprakash Gadade, Sustainable Farm Services, Mumbai, Maharashtra Nice to see discussions happening on developmental issues. Yes, it is right, collecting accurate data on agriculture/horticulture (plants/crops, varieties, yield, soil types/fertility, diseases/pests and all) is quite difficult. In India there is a provision on collecting crop data on 8A and like land records with government, which is generally recorded by Talathi. A new approach, by agriculture insurance companies is being made to collect data on crop and its failure. But all this is questioned, as no Talathi goes in field to verify data furnished by farmer. On this context, DSK Rao‟s proposal with forester KD Singh‟s suggestion seems to work on real time. We need to go with an integrated approach, making use of all possible resources available as: 1. Creating Panchayat Level Farm records for all crops grown season-wise. Each year large number of capable manpower is getting generated by today‟s public and private agriculture colleges. Utilize these agriculture diploma/degree level freshers on guiding farmers proper package of practices and in turn will also collect data on crops cultivated/grown with minutes of details like soil type, its physio-chemical compositions, agro-climatic condition (macro & micro as developed in specific combination of macro agro-climates, crop/variety, crop stage, cultivation practices used), insect-pests, diseases, their control measures, time specific horticultural operations performed, bloom, yield, regions & practice specific maturity/taste indices, local/home consumption (and pattern), losses its factors, kind & quantum with ratio, produce reaching at APMC/processing units, losses over there (way, nature, kind and quantum), price fetched grade-wise, etc. Design and develop it for one village and implement for all. This way there could be employment generation for a large number of educated unemployed youths, skill upgradation in them as well in farmers, could effectively make them understand real field activities and market forces, and effective co-ordination between farmmarket/industry leading minimizing unintentional losses.

2. This crop growth and yield related parameters could then be co-related with remotely sensed data (remote sensing data), and then could be used for projecting current and future changes/consequences to come (yield, yield in coming next 2 – 3 weeks or months, pests, diseases, mode and quantum of losses, necessary measure to control) for next few years. 3. Let the Field Executives collect all possible data on these farms/gram panchayats correlating as per soil and agro-climatic conditions. This data even can be mapped with actual cropping data and the same can be captured by the CSC VLE (Common Service Centre Village Level Entrepreneur). 4. The Data from Producer Groups/Importers/Exporters/Seed Companies should then be cross linked to the above data to keep watch on market movement. This way we could keep control in market flow and could able to avoid market glut and divert the produce to processing industry. Or even with the help of our monitors/data collectors, we even could suggest farmers which crop to grow, thereby there will be variety of crops with sizable quantity and also farmer will get better price, avoiding market glut of similar variety/crop. It might be costlier affair, but using today‟s low cost android/other mobile based operating systems (software) we could easily feed data and link it to web/central processing unit of this task on real time basis.

TM Gajanana and R Venugopalan, Section of Economics & Statistics, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore, Karnataka Challenges in compiling horticultural statistics and market intelligence reports   Inaccurate area, production and yield statistics: Unlike field crops, crop cutting experiments are not in place to accurately estimate the yield in horticultural crops which results in erroneous calculation of production of horticultural crops. Bearing and non-bearing orchards: While estimating the yield of perennial horticultural crops like fruits, the statistics on bearing and non-bearing orchards are not available and hence, the yield of these crops is not properly estimated. Besides, alternate bearing (off and on year problem), especially in case of mango poses a problem of correct estimation yield. Variety-wise information for commodities: Variety-wise information on area, production and productivity is not available at present which hinders the process of research. Similarly, the prices and arrivals figures are not available for different varieties which preclude rigorous price analysis and forecasting. Methodological issues: Need to address the methodological gaps in quantitative measurement of important parameters (area, production and productivity) by framing suitable sampling strategies, as that one available in compiling marine fishery statistics. Data collection and supervision strategy: Need to strengthen the quality and accuracy of the data collected by patwari‟s and thereby the system of monitoring the primary data collection by them. Timely Reporting Scheme (TRS): Reduce the time lag in making available the area/production statistics of major crops to the researchers/planners.

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Suggestions for a suitable procedural and institutional mechanism to streamline horticultural statistics and market intelligence

On horticultural statistics:

Procedural mechanism: Re-look into and refine the methodology adopted for collecting primary crop statistics on area/production at micro level (patwari‟s level) by adopting more efficient sampling tools coupled with ICT; Extensive (systematic) use of ICT to improve the Timely Reporting Scheme. Crop cutting experiments may be initiated in horticultural crops also to correctly estimate the yield of horticultural crops which would help in correctly estimating the production.

Institutional mechanism: every crop based institute to adopt a village and employ manpower to systematically collect primary crop statistics data as a pilot study using suitable sampling methodology. At present NHB is collecting the information prices and arrivals of different commodities in different markets. With additional staff, it would be possible to collect the variety-wise information also which will be useful in forecasting mechanism. Like horticultural statistics, one market may be studied by each crop institute and correct estimation of prices and arrivals may be obtained using the appropriate statistical sampling methodology and skilled resource persons.

On Market intelligence:
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Steps required to integrate producers closely to markets through contemporary price discovery platforms Formation of associations of the growers-preferably commodity wise, written contracts for contract farming, grade based pricing of the produce, taking price advantage of distant markets and economies of scale, passing the benefits of such a market linkage to the producers.

KD Singh, Academy of Forest and Environmental Sciences, Delhi (Response 2) Forest Survey of India has done Sample Survey of Trees outside Forest for selected districts using Remote Sensing and Field Survey. Horticulture group may like to have a look of method and results. The report titled “Training Manual on Inventory of Trees outside forest” can be accessed at http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/006/AC840E/AC840E02.htm Other reports which can be looked at for understanding the methodology – National Forest Type Mapping – http://www.fsi.org.in/fsi_projects/national_forest_type_mapping.pdf The methodology employed is GIS mapping. It involves two major steps 1. Preparation of Forest Type Reference Maps using existing thematic maps and other data. 2. Preparation of final maps depicting spatial distribution of forest types by collecting new information through ground verification and using recent satellite data and incorporating the same on Reference Maps. India State of Forest Report, 2009 – To access the report, please visit . It is the eleventh state of forest report in which remote sensing methodology has been employed to assess the area under forests and the methodology employed has made the output GIS compatible. The complete report can be accessed at http://www.fsi.org.in/sfr_2009.htm

KS Karnic, Independent Consultant, Bangalore, Karnataka* Mobilising information on horticulture crops is a herculean task. None of the State Governments have proper machinery to gather information. The Statistics wing of the governments presents their own figures which normally are considered for planning purposes but the figures have no relevance to the facts and neither gives any crop details. It may not be out of context to say that contractors who procure fruits and vegetables are better equipped with the information and consulting them in order to get the field information. The information provided by them on area, variety, yield, market prices, etc would almost be realistic. Keeping their versions as bench mark efforts should be made to gather more accurate information.

Many thanks to all who contributed to this query! If you have further information to share on this topic, please send it to Solution Exchange for the Food and Nutrition Security Community in India at se-food@solutionexchange-un.net.in with the subject heading “Re: [se-food] Query: Inputs for the 12th Plan - Strengthening Horticulture Statistics and Market Intelligence – Examples; Advice. Additional Reply.” Disclaimer: The FNS Community of Practice is a network of development practitioners facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The views expressed in this information product are those of the members. FAO facilitates the FNS Community for the larger benefit of its members and other readers; FAO accepts no responsibility for their veracity or authenticity of the information contents. Members intending to use or transmit the information contained in these messages should be aware that they are relying on their own judgments. Copyrighted under Creative Commons License “Attribution-NonCommercialShareAlike 2.5”. Re-users of this material must cite as their source Solution Exchange as well as the item‟s recommender, if relevant, and must share any derivative work with the Solution Exchange Community. Solution Exchange is a UN initiative for development practitioners in India. For more information please visit www.solutionexchange-un.net.in

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