In a situation where there are a large number of markets, there is a need to limit the
number of markets that need to be intensively monitored. The main reason for this is that
it requires a significant investment in time to understand how a particular market
works. The key markets that provide reliable information about changing food security
conditions should be intensive monitored. Suggested criteria for determining the types of
markets identified in the worksheet analysis that should be intensively monitored include
markets that are:
major cereal collection markets (indication of both urban conditions since usually
located in larger towns and the general movement of cereals in the country)
located in surplus producing areas (to monitor food availability concerns)
located in food deficit areas (to monitor food access since poor households tend to
be net purchasers of cereals)
located in major urban areas (to monitor urban food access)
A suggested distinction of the effort that should be included in the monitoring of
intensive versus extensive monitoring of markets is:
: A select number of markets should be monitored on a regular
basis regularly (as often as the price and marketing data become available
probably monthly). In these markets, any anomaly should be thoroughly examined,
explained, and reported. Always crosscheck these data with other data types to see
if they are providing the same understanding of a situation. Regular field trips or
discussions with key informants should be done when anomalous behavior occurs.
: The rest of the markets that regularly report price and
market data and information are in this category. These markets should be
examined less frequently, for example each quarter. The same procedures proposed
for the intensive monitored markets to resolve anomalous price patterns should be
3.3.3 Selection of commodities
Selecting which commodities to monitor is also an important to make. This decision
should be based on the information generated in the previous section using the
worksheets. These worksheets have guided you to identify different types of
commodities (section 3.2.2).
There is also a need to establish a balance between the number of commodities that are
monitored with the available resources and the heterogeneity of consumption patterns.
More resources may mean that more commodities could be covered. More
heterogeneous consumption patterns may mean that more markets need to be monitored.
This is a difficult balance to determine.