want to report on. Telephoning the person responsible for collecting that price data
and get an explanation very quickly.
Talk to other public and private sector key informants in the capital city
. In any
capital city there is a wealth of information about the marketing of agricultural
products. Key informants in government (e.g., Ministries of Agriculture and
Commerce), universities, private sector, donor agencies, and NGOs should be
visited to see if they can provide any insights into the unusual price behavior you
have identified. Also, you should develop a network of contacts that will assist you
to understand unusual price behavior.
Talk to other public and private sector key informants in the area where the market
. This can be done via telephone in many cases. Also, you should develop
a network of contacts that will assist you to understand unusual price behavior.
Face to face contacts when you are field trips will facilitate future telephone
Actually visit the market that has the unusual price behavior that you have
Although this is a relatively expensive (both time and money) to resolve
a problem, it can provide useful insights to what is happening in that market. This is
for those more complicated issues that seem to baffle everybody.
The bottom line is that you have to be able to explain anomalies in the behavior of prices.
Your job is to identify and explain the reason (and hopefully the potential impact) of an
unusual behavior in prices or markets.
6.3.4 Analyze more than you report
Analysis is the process of understanding patterns in a particular data set or data sets. To feel
confident that the reporting about prices is accurate, it is necessary to monitor and analyze
more data than is included in the report. If all output from analysis were included in your
report, it would be for a decision maker to be able to put appropriate weight or value to the
statements and conclusions included in your early warning publications.
The additional analysis that you do but that is not presented is not a waste of time. It is the
result of a thorough analysis that you are confident that what you include in a report is an
accurate picture of the situation. The additional analysis that you do is not presented can be
drawn upon if a decision maker would like greater depth than is possible in an early warning
publication. Also, additional analyses leads to insights and understandings that can be used
the next time a similar situation is faced.