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Revitalizing Zambia’s Agricultural Marketing Information Centre (Amic)

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  • Gage, Daria
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    Abstract

    1. Public sector agricultural market information systems (MIS) can provide useful information to farmers, uninformed traders, and policy makers. While private information networks offer a valuable service to select clients, only a well-functioning public MIS can redress information asymmetries among marketing actors that can inhibit competition. 2. The second core mission of a public MIS should be to organize and manage data in such a way that government decision-makers and civil society organizations can accurately diagnose and even anticipate emerging market problems and respond to them in a timely manner. 3. Zambia’s AMIC suffers from a range of weaknesses all along the supply chain for price information. Data collection and transmission is irregular and unreliable, data management is unstructured and lacks strategic oversight, and dissemination is entirely supply-driven. 4. The primary reasons for AMIC’s weak performance are competing priorities and a misguided incentive structure for staff at the national, provincial, and most importantly at the district level, where the viability of the collection process depends on reciprocity between price collectors and traders. 5. The draft Agricultural Marketing Act, which will be sent to Parliament in the 2012 budget cycle, provides an opportunity to re-establish AMIC’s mission and importance.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics in its series Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs with number 113646.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:midcpb:113646

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    Keywords: agricultural market information systems; Zambia; Agricultural and Food Policy; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies;

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    1. Mason, Nicole M. & Jayne, T.S. & Chapoto, Antony & Donovan, Cynthia, 2011. "Putting the 2007/2008 global food crisis in longer-term perspective: Trends in staple food affordability in urban Zambia and Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 350-367, June.
    2. Chomba, Geoffrey & Mbozi, Green & Mundia, David & Simpamba, Mike & Mwiinga, Billy & Donovan, Cynthia & Mushingwani, Stanely, 2002. "Improving the Transfer and Use of Agricultural Market Information in Zambia: A User Needs Assessment," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 54462, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    3. Chapoto, Antony & Jayne, Thomas S., 2009. "The Impacts of Trade Barriers and Market Interventions on Maize Price Predictability: Evidence from Eastern and Southern Africa," Food Security International Development Working Papers 56798, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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