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Agricultural Marketing in India
Agricultural Marketing in India is undergoing a significant metamorphosis in view of globalisation and economic liberalization process. As market oriented economic development proceeds, Indian farmers in rural areas continue to experience great disparity in income compared with other sectors. 70 percentage of India's population live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and allied activities. A good agricultural production and step-up prices - farm prices - would put more money in the hands of the people living in the rural areas.
Information & Communication Technology (ICTs):
The McKinsey Analysis on intermediary economics (fruits and vegetables) shows that farm-gate price available to the farmers is only 25% of the retail price in Indian condition, whereas the same is 70% in case of Dutch and the US farmers, where more efficient marketing system is in place. To benefit the farming communities from the new global market access opportunities, the internal agricultural marketing system of the country needs to be integrated and strengthened.
Marketing today depends on information system, hence on adequate information about what people want, at what price, and who can supply it. Various studies reveal that farmers, on an average, get a reasonably higher price by selling their produce in the regulated markets (Agricultural Produce Market Committees - APMCs) compared to rural, village and unregulated wholesale markets. The locus of agricultural growth has been shifted from production front to the processing and marketing front. The investment in agricultural marketing system would, therefore, go a long way in making agricultural sector vibrant and enable it to face the competition of international trade environment without adversely affecting the livelihoods of those who depend on farming.
ICTs have opened considerable opportunities for the rural poor, both in terms of direct employment and in improving their linkages with the market. ICTs need to be extensively promoted in agricultural marketing to generate useful databases and information packages for expanding marketing opportunities, especially for online information on demand and availability of different products, product specifications with regard to price, quality, pack size, packaging material, quantity and the time frame of supply.
As a step towards globalisation of agriculture, the Directorate of Marketing & Inspection (OMI) has embarked upon an ICT project: NICNET based Agricultural Marketing Information System Network (AGMARKNET)" in the country, during the Ninth Plan, for linking all-important APMCS (Agricultural Produce Market Committees), State Agricultural marketing Boards / Directorates and OMI regional offices located throughout the country, for effective information exchange on market prices NIC implements this project on a turn-key basis.
This AGMARKNET project has already networked 735 Agricultural Produces Wholesale Markets (APWMs), 75 State Agricultural Marketing Boards/ Directorates and DMI Regional Offices during 2000-02 and embarked upon additional 2000 Markets during the Tenth Plan Period (2002-2007)
The advantages of AGMARKNET database accrue to the farmers, as they have choices to sell their produce in the nearest market at remunerative prices.
- Nationwide market information for wholesale produce
- Project supported by various Departments and State Boards of Agricultural Marketing
- Access mainly through the Internet
- Information dissemination progressively through local languages
- Computer facilities at the markets
- Software for download - Daily market prices
- Information collected by nodes in the various markets
- Weekly trends
- Information on loans, policies and regulations
- Bypass middlemen
- Data Dissemination through NGOs, SHGs, KVKs, GISTNIC, Cooperatives etc.