In a situation where there are only a few commodities (less than five) monitored
regularly, the analyst is advised to monitor all of the commodities.  The information
generated using the worksheet in this case will guide the interpretation of the price data.
If there is a large number of commodities, there is a need to limit the number of
commodities that need to be intensively monitored.  The main reason for this is that it
requires a significant investment in time to  understand  how certain commodities fit into
the economics and consumption behavior of households.  The key commodities that
provide reliable information about changing food security conditions (whether food
availability or  food access conditions) should be intensive monitored, especially cereals
and certain roots and tubers (if appropriate).  Commodities should be intensively
monitored if:
1. 
it is the national staple food (normal good  to capture national trends)
2. 
it is the staple food of a large portion of the country (to capture regional differences
in consumption)
3. 
it is the staple food of a food insecure group (inferior good  to capture changes in
food access)
A suggested distinction of the effort that should be included in the monitoring of
intensive versus extensive monitoring of markets is:
1.
Intensive monitoring
: A select number of commodities that should be regularly
be monitored on a regular basis (as often as price and marketing data become
available probably monthly).  For these commodities, 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.
2.
Extensive monitoring
: The rest of the commodities for which there is regularly
reported price and market data and information fall into this category. These
commodities should be examined less frequently, for example each quarter.  The
same procedures proposed for the intensively monitored commodities to resolve
anomalous price patterns should be followed.
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