Agri Business

Mobile app has improved price data collection of 22 essential commodities: Govt

PTI New Delhi | Updated on February 28, 2021

The government on Sunday said data collection of wholesale and retail prices of 22 essential commodities on a daily basis has improved following the launch of a mobile app in January this year.

The Department of Consumer Affairs monitors prices of rice, wheat, wheat flour, gram dal, tur/arhar dal, urad dal, moong dal, masoor dal, sugar, milk, groundnut oil, mustard oil, vanaspati, soya oil, sunflower oil, palm oil, gur, tea, salt, potato, onions and tomato.

The price data is being collected from 127 centres across the country through the food and civil supplies departments of state governments.

"To improve the quality of daily prices data reported by the price reporting centres, the Department of Consumer Affairs launched a Mobile App on January 1, 2021," the department said in a statement.

The monitoring and predictive analysis of prices of essential commodities has taken a giant step forward, it said. The mobile app is providing effective real-time information on retail and wholesale prices from 127 locations across the country, the statement said.

The daily report of prices and indicative price trends are analysed so as to take appropriate decisions such as release of stocks from the buffer and export-import policy.

"Price reporting through the app ensures reporting from the market location as data is geo-tagged, thereby, displaying the location from where price data is reported," the statement said.

The reporting of static data from the office desktop has been ruled out with the application of the mobile app.

"Therefore, the condition to operationalise the mobile app is that each Price Reporting Centre has to furnish market details such as the names and addresses of the shops and markets from where prices are collected daily," it said.

Based on the guidelines for retail price reporting, the prices of the same variety of a commodity are collected from three markets -- high income, middle income and low income market, and the average of the three prices is to be reported.

The department said the mobile app has in-built features to calculate and report the average price. This helps in avoiding human error in calculation.

Market information from Agmarknet, Agriwatch, NAFED and trade associations also constitute inputs for price analysis.

The department is also utilising the services of Agriwatch for providing market intelligence, predictive analysis of prices and to develop a price forecasting model.

It had proposed to the DEA (department of economic affairs) a technical assistance fund under the CARES Progamme of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for improving price monitoring and analysis.

The activity components under the technical assistance are upgradation of the price monitoring portal, capacity building for price reporting centres and a price monitoring cell, identification of long-term improvements for a food commodity supply chain and market efficiency.

The DEA has approved the proposal, it said.

Published on February 28, 2021

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