4.11.1 On the recommendation of the Agricultural Prices Enquiry Committee, (1954), the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture (DESMOA) set up 14 Market Intelligence Units (MIU) in the capitals of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. The market intelligence units are intended to help the DESMOA in the formulation, implementation and review of the agricultural price policy relating to procurement, marketing, storage, transportation, import, export and credit, etc. The units furnish regular reports on market arrivals, off-takes, stocks, crop prospects, and outlook of market prices. They are also required to give their appraisal of production of various kharif and rabi crops at regular intervals to help preparation of crop forecasts.
4.11.2 Though the data to be supplied by the market intelligence units are of great utility, the units have ceased to be effective in discharging their functions mainly due to a lack of proper direction and control of their activities. Over the years, the staff strength of the units has been considerably reduced resulting in even worse performance.
Conclusions and Recommendations
4.11.3 Agricultural Market Intelligence is an important and useful instrument, and it should be strengthened and extended to all the States. The MIUs apparently have not been able to function in the manner envisaged. Their operations and staff requirements should be re-evaluated and appropriate measures taken to streamline the units. Full advantage of their services should be availed of to provide advance estimates of crop production, to collect auxiliary information required for framing “small area” estimates of crop production and several other studies. The Commission recommends the restoration of the MIUs and a revival of their activities fully.
4.11.4 The Commission recommends that:
The functions, activities and the staff requirements of the Agricultural Market Intelligence Units should be re-evaluated and appropriate measures taken to streamline the units.