The assignment was carried out as part of ORGUT’s subcontract with Chemonics International within the USAID/Sida project –FARMA in Bosina-Herzegovina. The purpose of USAID/Sida FARMA is to provide technical assistance in agricultural sub-sectors through demand driven assistance aimed at improved competitiveness of agricultural products. USAID/Sida FARMA is a development project jointly funded by USAID and Sida and implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina. USAID/Sida FARMA is to expand environmentally sustainable production, processing, and sales of value-added agricultural products. The expected result of FARMA is contribution to poverty reduction. USAID/Sida FARMA is implemented by Chemonics International with ORGUT as a subcontractor. ORGUT provides consulting services aiming at increasing agricultural competitiveness, meeting EU accession standards, reducing poverty by expanding environmentally sustainable production, and increasing sales, exports, and employment. USAID/Sida FARMA’s approach focuses on four integrated components: Building sustainable market linkages for producers; Increasing access to finance; Building the capacity of producer organisations’ and other counterparts; and Enhancing the policy environment to benefit competitiveness of agricultural goods. In order to attain project goals, USAID/ Sida FARMA uses various tools, including a Development Fund and Partners Fund for targeted subcontracts to local partners.
Markets are both figurative and literal venues where economic activity takes place. A seller wants to sell a product and a buyer wants to buy a product. Typically the single most important factor in their negotiation is the price. Economic theory tells us that free markets function best when all buyers and all sellers have the same price information at the same time. Throughout the developed world, governments publish wholesale agricultural prices as a public good in order to foster the functioning of the agricultural markets. The case in BiH is that the government does plan to collect and disseminate wholesale agricultural prices at some point in the future but does not currently do it. At the same time the FARMA project must fill the role its name implies, to foster agricultural markets.
The Excellence in Innovation project is working with an E-Biz Center: AgroLink that is already collecting and selling wholesale agricultural prices. They are not publically disseminating those prices and they do not have a computerized database for managing the data. The FARMA project is developing a grant that it intends to award to AgroLink to disseminate the price information. In this assignment ORGUT supported the need for a system for effectively and efficiently managing wholesale agricultural prices.