All stakeholders in the agricultural industry are now able to equip themselves with vital pricing information, which will enable them to make better decisions about the sale and purchase of produce.
This has been made possible through the Jamaica Agricultural Marketing Information System (JAMIS) website, which was launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, today (December 14), at its Hope Gardens headquarters, in Kingston.
The web portal is part of the Ministry’s ongoing thrust to modernise the sector through the application of technology. Its primary role is to collect, compile and disseminate agricultural data, which will aid producers, purchasers, consumers and distributors.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, explained that JAMIS will supply the sector with accurate information, reflecting current prices, so as to promote fair marketing and enhance competition.
“This data will assist the sector by providing the tools to determine where and when to buy and sell produce. It will also assist farmers to plan their production and promote a transparent marketplace, by putting buyers and sellers on a more equal bargaining basis,” he outlined.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, outlines the importance of the Jamaica Agricultural Marketing Information System (JAMIS) website, at the launch of the system, at the Ministry’s Hope Gardens headquarters, today (December 14). At right is Head of Mission for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Dr. Karen Hilliard.
JAMIS has been in progress since January, with a paper-based price collection and reporting system, that gathered and reported prices at the farm gate, the municipal markets, and the retail trade. “This was the first comprehensive weekly price reporting mechanism to address the specific needs of the Jamaican marketplace,” the Minister noted.
He disclosed that the system has already served to reduce the disparity in prices between what is paid to the producer and the final consumer price. “Purchasing managers are currently receiving weekly data to assist them in their procurement process, through price reports generated by JAMIS’ paper-based system, and distributed by email from the Ministry,” Dr. Tufton said.
In the first three months of operation, a mailing list of approximately 2,000 sector-related and other interest groups was developed, and weekly prices are sent to these by email. That list has increased to 5,000.
“In addition, a partnership was developed with the Consumer Affairs Commission for the bi-monthly publication of these prices in the local newspapers, to help farmers and consumers to access real-time produce prices,” he informed.
JAMIS, which can be accessed at: www.ja-mis.com , is funded and technically supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded JA Farms Project and CDS Development Solutions.