Friday, October 14, 2011

Bahir Dar reporting series : a price information system

Last week, I participated in the stakeholder workshop organized by my project in Bahir Dar. The meeting served presenting preliminary results to partners and stakeholder to discuss and learn.
Whereas I did not learn so much about rainwater as such, through discussions with partners, stakeholder and other people I met during my stay, some issues emerged. Issues I did not think of in this way before. Therefore I will post in the following weeks a Bahir Dar reporting series that shortly raises the issues that emerged and questions their implication for the Ethiopian context.

Today, it is about a price information system for agricultural products

In Ethiopia, some project try to convince farmer to grow new commodities, as for example onions. The first farmers who start to do this can actually make a good profit. So other farmers see this and try to do the same. Some year so many farmers grow the commodity, that the market is over flooded, price collapse and farmer make losses. This is what happened with the onions this year. Last year onion price were high so every one planted onions, the price collapse, and I get a very very hard time to buy carrot in Addis in the shops. Farmers could have diversified, some of them could have planted carrots, tomatoes or salads and all would have made a good living. Following the IPMS project (one of the project that introduced the onions), this situation shows the clear need for a market information system. I am really wondering how you could concretely implement this.
Worldwide agricultural price volatility is problematic and can bring smallholders into difficult situations. Today for worldwide commodities such as wheat maize, future contracts are investigated as a solution to decrease world price volatility. Could this be an option for a smaller scale, and be applied in Ethiopia to avoid too high price volatility for horticultural products?

No comments:

Post a Comment