From Forecast To ‘Nowcast’: Government Working On Real-Time Price And Demand Info System For Next Kharif Season

A mandi in India. (representative image) (Sneha Srivastava/Mint via Getty Images)

The Union government is working on a new agricultural demand-supply information framework that will provide real-time and accurate updates on price and volume movements of certain crops in the coming Kharif season, reports Business Standard (BS).

The new framework will be modelled on the system used by the United States Department of Agriculture that provides timely projections to remove information asymmetry among the market participants.

“The statistical model will use time-series data on mandi arrivals, their prices from secondary sources such as agmarket.nic.in and field surveys and other data points to accurately predict price and demand,” the report quotes a government official as saying.

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The government has already appointed a technical advisory committee for the same and the National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (NAIP), under the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), has been brought in as the knowledge partner for the project.

Lack of information regarding both demand and production for crops supply has negative consequences for both consumers and farmers. Excessive supply leads to low prices in the market and thus, reduced incomes for farmers. On the other hand, decreased supply leads to disproportionately high prices in the markets, affecting consumer food choices.

The move is among several other tech-backed initiatives launched by the government towards its stated aim of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022. An experimental study found that adoption of artificial intelligence (AI)-based sowing advice has increased crop yields by thirty per cent. Other technologies like cloud computing, satellite image analysis and machine learning can also make the lives of farmers better by helping modernise the sector.

Also Read: Ten Things That Are Wrong With Indian Agriculture

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