The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade & Industry, has rolled out a new National Market Information System (NMIS) that collects, processes and disseminates timely, accurate and relevant market information on agricultural commodities. The ATA designed and implemented the system in partnership with the Ministry of Trade & Industry, the Federal Cooperative Agency and Trade Bureaus of Oromia, Amhara, SNNP and Tigray Regions.

The system is intended to help primarily smallholder farmers and other market actors make informed market decisions related to where, when, and through which channels to sell and buy agricultural commodities. It will also inform the public about policies and guidelines.

The NMIS disseminates market information via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Short Message Service (SMS) on 6077 hotline, as well as through website, email subscription and other mediums such as radio across the country.

Currently the system is transmitting market data on five agricultural commodities – Wheat, Maize, Tef, Sesame and Haricot Beans from 31 selected pilot markets. The information is disseminated using the 6077 hotline (IVR/SMS system) in Amharic language, and it will shortly start in Afan Oromo and Tigrigna. The system will expand to increase geographical coverage and agricultural commodities.

In Ethiopia, a number of semi or fully automated agricultural Market Information Systems exist at federal and regional levels. The existing market information systems suffer from several challenges that include poor data quality, incompleteness, inaccuracy and lack of timeliness. In order to solve this problem, the ATA in collaboration with its partners conducted a diagnostic study and detail assessment on the existing and international MIS cases before the introduction of the new system. The NMIS project is supported by one of the Ministry of Agriculture flagship programs (i.e. Agricultural Growth Program) and financed by the World Bank and other Development Partners.