An efficient Market News Service is essential for the orderly marketing of agricultural commodities. It not only assists the farmers in disposing of his products at better prices but also provides basis for formulation and determination of trade policies.
The Department of Marketing Intelligence and Statistics collects the daily wholesale and retail prices. These are regularly disseminated through the issue of daily price bulletins. The Department in the pre-independence days used to collect and maintain records of weekly prices of about 250 commodities from 22 centres of the former East Pakistan and West Pakistan.
The Directorate of Agricultural Marketing, Bangladesh collects wholesale prices of various agricultural commodities and livestock products from 58 important markets of the country and issues them in the form of a weekly price Bulletin. Prices of Dhaka market are also disseminated through radio and local dailies.
The present method of price collection is not considered wholly satisfactory mainly because in most cases the collection of prices is not possible to be done objectively, particularly in respect of wholesale prices. The main reasons for the unsatisfactory state of affairs are that—
(a) The wholesale transactions are mostly done under covers—system of bidding and occasionally by private negotiations between buyers and sellers. The price collecting agencies have to depend exclusively on the version of the wholesalers. Since there is no legal or legislative measures under which they are bound for correct reporting, they do not give due importance to the supply of prices. As such, prices quoted by them are often liable to considerable variations from the actual.
(b) The personnel connected with the price collection do not possess sufficient technical knowledge required for correct assessment of the prevailing prices.
(c) Absence of well-defined quality standards is another hindrance in obtaining the correct prices.