FAO and EU support the improvement of the Market Information System
With the support of the European Union (EU), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA) have developed a Market Information System for agricultural products. The system was launched in 2015 under the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD).
Monitoring the market prices of more than 100 agricultural products is conducted in 59 municipalities across Georgia. Data-collectors – the staff of the MEPA Information and Consulting Centres (ICCs) – in each region gather prices on each agricultural product on a weekly basis and upload the data to an online database, providing users across the country with the latest price-related information. The data are further processed by the ministry and used for policymaking.
After three years of data collection, the system is being upgraded in 2019 to improve the data collection and analysis process. FAO has developed an online application to collect the data electronically through tablets and to transfer the collected data automatically to the ministry’s main server. These upgrades of the system significantly simplify the process of monitoring and reduces the chances of making mistakes.
In February 2019, data-collectors from the ICCs in the municipalities of Shida Kartli and Mtskheta-Mtianeti were trained. The trainings will now be conducted in other municipalities of Georgia as well. The trainees will receive information on the usage of the new electronic data collection app, the methodological changes within the price monitoring system, as well as the revised lists of the products to be monitored. The trainings are organized by FAO, MEPA’s Statistics and Analytics Division and the environmental education and information center.
The European Union is supporting rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Programme. Aiming to reduce rural poverty, ENPARD has been implemented since 2013, with a total budget of Euro 179.5 million. The first phase of ENPARD focused on developing national agriculture potential, while the second and third phases focus on creating economic opportunities for the rural population that go beyond agricultural activities. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge