Market Information Display

Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) has it’s own web site for dissemination of information about various projects, schemes and activities carried out in the filed of Agricultural Marketing. This website also provides information about daily arrivals and prices of agricultural commodities. This is the unique web site for on-line spot and future prices of agricultural commodities. Information available on the web site can further be disseminated through PACS, FCSCs, ATMAs, APMCs. Web based information can be accessed/disseminated through Internet only. Therefore, not depending on one media for information dissemination, MSAMB has initiated scheme of installation of Market Information Displays (MIDs) at Market Yard of APMCs. Market Yards have been identified for installation of MIDs, because it is a place where farmers and market functionaries are visiting regularly. Presently, MIDs have been installed at 69 APMCs in the State. Electronic media used for this system is 54”/44” projection TVs. This technology was available when the project was started. Projection TV System comprises one computer with internet connectivity, UPS, 54”/44” projection TVs and customized software in regional language for display of information. Though, the experience of this system is quite encouraging, it could not achieve the expected success due to following reasons.
  • Limitation in clear visibility of Projection TV in the sunlight. Requires shed / room / hall for proper visibility.
  • Inadequate facilities for proper visibility by APMC.
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Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) has it’s own web site for dissemination of information about various projects, schemes and activities carried out in the filed of Agricultural Marketing. This website also provides information about daily arrivals and prices of agricultural commodities. This is the unique web site for on-line spot and future prices of agricultural commodities. Information available on the web site can further be disseminated through PACS, FCSCs, ATMAs, APMCs. Web based information can be accessed/disseminated through Internet only. Therefore, not depending on one media for information dissemination, MSAMB has initiated scheme of installation of Market Information Displays (MIDs) at Market Yard of APMCs. Market Yards have been identified for installation of MIDs, because it is a place where farmers and market functionaries are visiting regularly. Presently, MIDs have been installed at 69 APMCs in the State. Electronic media used for this system is 54”/44” projection TVs. This technology was available when the project was started. Projection TV System comprises one computer with internet connectivity, UPS, 54”/44” projection TVs and customized software in regional language for display of information. Though, the experience of this system is quite encouraging, it could not achieve the expected success due to following reasons.
  • Limitation in clear visibility of Projection TV in the sunlight. Requires shed / room / hall for proper visibility.
  • Inadequate facilities for proper visibility by APMC.
  • Insufficient publicity of the scheme by APMCs.
  • Needs more training to the staff of APMCs for handling the system and effective utilization of the same.
  • One TV in the entire market yard.
Considering above reasons, latest LCD TV Systems are proposed for installation at 150 APMCs in the State. These TV systems will work as Market Information Displays (MIDs) for dissemination of agricultural information. This system comprises of three LCD TV of 40” size, computer with Internet connectivity, UPS, Dot Matrix / Laser printer and customized software in Marathi language for information display. Consolidated information about arrivals and prices available on MSAMB web site will be displayed on this system through customized software. This software will be web based installed at MSAMB web server and could be accessed by MIDs through broad band Internet. As this software will be installed on web server, any update in the arrival & price data will get reflected to all MIDs in regional language. This system will be useful for farmers to get market prices for selling his produce and to get information about agricultural technologies. This will help the farmers to improve the cultivation practices, production, schedule pre & post harvest measures, need for grading/packing. One Printer is proposed in this system to provide hardcopy of required information by the farmers on nominal charges.

Experience of 69 APMCs where Projection TV Systems have already installed, will be taken into consideration while implementation of MIDs in first year at 30 APMCs. Operations of MIDs will be reviewed and the lessons learned in first year be applied to the second year of 40 APMCs and so on. Installation of MIDs at 150 APMCs will be completed in four year so that lesson learned in each year can be used to improve the system in next year.
Considering the past experience, it is proposed to install more than one TV in one yard of comparatively small size (40”), instead big size TV. This will help for displaying information at more than one location in market yard. The LCD TV proposed for this scheme will be used for public display. Hence LCD TV considered is of high contrast ratio, minimum resolution of 1920x1080 pix minimum 10 bit colour reproduction. These specifications are as per available technology. Since the specifications of TVs are for public display purpose, the cost of TVs may be more as compared to the cost of TVs used for home segment. Details of items of expenditure under this component are:

Sr. No
ITEM
1
3 LCD TVs of 40”
2
Latest Computer with internet
3
UPS one hour backup
4
50 mtrs cables to connect Computer to 3 LCD TVs
5
Windows operating System
6
Regional Language support software
7
Application Software
8
Dot Matrix Printer/ Laser
9
Installation and basic training
It is proposed that the entire Operations & Maintenance (O&M) of such a dissemination system could be outsourced to a private player at certain terms and conditions, so that upkeep and maintenance of such an info-structure is ensured. During the warranty period of all equipment, the service provider will maintain the system. The warranty period will be mentioned in terms and conditions of the purchase. After the warranty period, concern APMC will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep this system.

Training to APMC staff for effective use of Market Information Display: Considering past experience in implementation of MID at various APMCs in the State, regular training and workshops are required to be conducted for APMC staff for effective use of MIDs. Monthly training of four days shall be conducted at NIPHT, Talegaon Dabhade, Dist. Pune, as this institute is having required facilities like computer lab, training hall, audio visual equipments for presentation and lodging-boarding. Four days training shall cover topics like basics of computer fundamental, Microsoft Office, Internet, email, websites, basic hardware maintenance, maintenance of operating software, handling of LCD TVs & software for information display and effective utilization of MIS. Similarly, one day workshop once in a quarter shall be conducted at APMCs, where MIDs are installed. During this workshop hands on training will be given on effective utilization of the system for information dissemination and other activities. Some farmers can be included in this workshop.

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