Regional Conference on market information systems in agriculture in the countries of southeast Balkan was held on Divčibare mountain on September 15 and 16. The Conference was attended by the representatives of Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brčko District, USA, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Waterpower Engineering of Serbia, the Institute of Science-Application in Agriculture, "Agromreža", workshop "KRUG" and Komercijalna Banka.
The representatives of workshop "KRUG" presented new software "Agricultural Market Information System of Serbia" - STIPS, an improved version of the system established in 2004, which collects the prices of fruits, vegetables, livestock, cereals and agricultural inputs from 18 cities in Serbia over the last six years (www.stips.minpolj.gov.rs). The system update is a part of the joint project of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Waterpower Engineering of Serbia and USAID’s Agribusiness Project.
The new system will be installed at the beginning of October, following the end of the reporters’ training, and everybody hopes that the innovations in the new software will make the work of reporters, analysts and other participants in the agricultural market much easier.
The conclusion that was made at the end of the meeting is that the existence of marketing information systems is necessary in all countries that deal with agricultural production. Also, the suggestions were made that the list of products that are observed by this system should be expanded, while the reports on availability of goods and their prices should be more frequent during the season.
There was also a suggestion that the existing systems should be integrated and that the Regional marketing information system should be formed with the aim of better marketing and realization of real prices of agricultural products.