Market Information Systems (MIS) collect, process and disseminate information on the situation and the dynamics of agricultural markets.
The Regional Agricultural Trade Intelligence Network (RATIN)
The Regional Agricultural Trade Intelligence Network (RATIN) is a web-based Regional Market Information System developed and hosted by the Eastern Africa Grain Council. RATIN has been operational since 2004 and was developed to help reduce information asymmetry in the markets with an aim of making the grain sub-sector more transparent in terms of supply and demand. Provision of timely and relevant market data leads to reduced market risk for farmers, traders, and consumers, and enhances price stability leading to better food security outcomes in the region. In addition, RATIN provides policy and trade advisory in regards to food balance in the region for main grain staples.
Currently, RATIN collects market information from 43 markets and 18 border points in the Eastern and Southern Africa and we work with partners to analyze trade data from additional 32 trade corridors in the Greater Horn of Africa. The data is collected daily by monitors using a customized application into a database for record, verification, and dissemination. The morning wholesale and retail prices are published on www.ratin.net site by 11:00 am whereas, informal cross border trade volumes are published by 8:30 am the following day.
RATIN works with partners in food security such as FAO, ICPAC Crop Monitor and FEWSNET and in addition with ACE Malawi on the provision of Malawi Grain market information.
Other than the website, users of RATIN can access commodity price data through a “pull” Short Message Service via a feature phone. On the website, users can subscribe to receive Grain sector related news on a daily basis and can access in-depth grain markets and trade reports christened the Grain Watch on a monthly and Quarterly basis.