The government of Sri Lanka introduced Agricultural Marketing Information system (AMIS) in 1979 at ARTI as a Market Research Unit (MRU) under the support of USAID. The MRU was re-named as Marketing and Food Policy Division in 1980s and in 2000 it became the Marketing, Food Policy and Agribusiness Division.
The activities of the MFPA division include collection, analysis, compilation, and dissemination of prices of food commodities for policy makers, government officers, farmers, traders, academicians and the general public. The mechanism for collection of market information was expanded further in 1996 with the financial and technical assistance from FAO and UNDP. The division conducts Agricultural Marketing Research Studies and Training Programs too. The main research areas are Marketing Intelligence, Pricing Policy, Processing and Storage, International Marketing, Nutrition, Food Policy and Agribusiness.
The Division collects producer, wholesale and retail prices of agricultural commodities throughout the country via a network of Statistical Assistants and investigators. Dissemination of daily, weekly and monthly prices is done through print and electronic media. In addition, this division provides Marketing Extension Service (MES) and Marketing Advisory Service (MAS) through training programs to stakeholders.
The division publishes two bulletins regularly in both English and Sinhala languages namely, Weekly Food Commodities Bulletin and Monthly Food Information Bulletin. “Food Commodities Bulletin” (FCB) is released on every Friday which consists an analysis of the commodity outlook and some of the key price indicators. The “Food Information Bulletin” (FIB) provides a brief summary of the key indicators of prices, production, crop situation and food availability in the given month and publishes monthly. The bulletin provides the overall food production and marketing situation of the country with relevant prices. And also it provides imported quantity, value, prices and the country of imported food commodities.
Both the weekly Food Commodities Bulletin and monthly Food Information Bulletin provide wealth of information for the Ministerial Subcommittee on Food Security and Cost of Living which makes policy decisions regarding production and marketing of agricultural commodities at the President’s office in Sri Lanka.