“The Regional Agrimarket Training”

EC-FAO Food Security Programme
Linking Information and Decision-Making to Improve Food Security
“The Regional Agrimarket Training”

The Regional Training for the Agricultural Market on 10th – 13th of July 2012 is glad to all the regional participants from Cambodia and Thailand for your active participation in this training in Lao PDR. Also noticed with the impression that now the Government of Lao PDR, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, and the International Organizations and NGOs, are keening on developing their market information systems.

The increasing exposure to fluctuating global, regional and domestic market prices, the pressure of prices and quality competitiveness will increase the risks that smallholder famers and agribusiness are exposed to. High food prices have had negative implications on the food security of vulnerable households living in low-income countries, but have also created opportunities for developing agricultural production. The market prices are important sources of information for policy-makers.

They combine the information held by millions of economic agents, including their expectations regarding possible short-term developments in supply and demand. For example, if farmers and traders in a particular region perceive that the crop is not developing well, they may try to increase stock levels in hope of further price increases. So price information is a strategic and very current topic for the Government of Lao PDR. Accurate and well-analyzed price information is an essential input in decision-making processes by farmers, agribusiness, government, and development partners. Price information can help farmers to access markets for their products, can contribute to the development of the agro-processing sector, can improve access to food by the rural and urban population, and can help government monitor developments in the domestic market, as well as the import and export trade. Understanding and making effective use of accurate, available market price information is therefore essential to enabling market participants, particularly farmers and traders within a target area, to better understand the market situation and adapt their production and marketing strategies in line with market demand.

Many governments and non-government agencies in Lao PDR have in the past attempted to provide price and other market information. Unfortunately, many of these efforts were not well coordinated, effective and sustainable. In this respect, it is essential to improve coordination mechanism and harmonize key activities amongst the agencies that have a mandate from the government to collect and analyze price information for policy and other purposes, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Lao Statistics Bureau. So it is assumed that efficient market information provision can be shown to have positive benefits for farmers, traders and policy-makers. Up-to-date market information enables farmers to negotiate with traders. Well-analyzed historical information helps farmers make decisions about new crops to grow and helps traders make decisions about the viability of inter-seasonal storage. Market information can also be used by planners to help monitor food availability and to identify shortages.

This training is also help us assess the need for an agricultural market information system and how that system should be designed in order to meet the development goals and objectives of the Government of Lao PDR. We count on your expertise and insights on whether and how we should develop this system. What type of information should be collected, where and how often? How should this information be disseminated to ensure its relevance to policy-makers and the farming and agribusiness communities? Finally, with the collective efforts, knowledge and skills will reach good progress in developing a national market information system that is not only useful to policy-makers and economic agents but that can also be sustained over time at both central and local levels for this training will encourage all of the participants, all members of the government and non-government organizations from the three countries, to actively participate in the training and also take this opportunity to express special to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with generous support of European Union, through the EC-FAO Food Security Programme.

 

 

Venue: Economic Research Institute for Trade (ERIT), MoIC
Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR
10 July 2012

 


Last Updated (Wednesday, 25 July 2012 16:24)