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Agricultural Market Information Service building an inclusive business ecosystem

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Farmers transport their freshly harvested cassava along a road in Banteay Meanchey province in 2019. Heng Chivoan

Agricultural Market Information Service building an inclusive business ecosystem

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has been fine-tuning its Agricultural Market Information Service (AMIS) – and associated CAMAgriMarket mobile app – to better connect farmers, traders and consumers, and build a more enabling, effective and inclusive business ecosystem.

The AMIS website notes that the ministry’s Department of Planning and Statistics has been collecting pertinent information on prices, output and wages to keep the service up-to-date and ensure that growers, the government and other stakeholders receive timely and accurate information to make better data-informed decisions for food security, to improve incomes, and on other matters.

“The purpose of the AMIS is to optimise access to agricultural market information for farmers, traders and other relevant institutions in the agricultural market chain to enable them to sell at affordable prices, and to establish agricultural marketing communication networks for their benefit,” the ministry said.

“Farmers will have more options to market their products with better price negotiations across the agricultural market chain. Farmers and traders will become more proficient in pre- and post-harvest processes, especially product classification, packaging, storage and transportation to increase value.

“[The service will also] build and strengthen the technical capacity of officials working in connection with agricultural markets in the capital and provinces,” it added.

Yourng Pakk, CEO of value chain management company AgriBee (Cambodia) Plc, said the CAMAgriMarket app, which uses AMIS, has helped a fair share of farmers and agriculture industry insiders find a wealth of information concerning market prices.

Officials at provincial- and district-level agriculture departments actively collect the most valuable information on agricultural products, he said, remarking that a host of agricultural indicators could be derived from data provided by the app.

Although commenting that the app has proven to be an effective tool for finding buyers and sellers, Pakk suggested adding payment functionality.

Khim Bunlen, founder of the King of Durian Farm Community in Kampot province's Chhouk district, underscored that the agricultural sector still faces many market issues, especially the fruit and vegetable segment during the harvest season.

He suggested the ministry organise more campaigns to inspire the public to buy more Cambodian agricultural products – especially during the harvest season – and impose high tariffs on agricultural imports, in conjunction with other measures, in an effort to minimise imported goods as well as even the playing field for local products.

AMIS collects information in the capital and all 24 provinces, updating its data on wholesale prices thrice a week for 256 types of agricultural products, and once a week for retail rates obtained from “three major markets and other collection points” nationwide.

The AMIS website, available in Khmer and English, can be accessed at https://amis.maff.gov.kh

Initially released in the fourth quarter of 2019, the CAMAgriMarket app is available on both the Play Store and App Store – although the former currently requires Android 4.4 or up, and the latter iOS 10.0 or macOS 11.0, or later. The app’s Telegram group is @camgrimarket

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