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e-kofini for agricultural products is coming

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The digital tool will record the average prices of products from the producer in supermarkets and fruit shops

Ερχεται το e-kofini για γεωρι κπροioντα

e-kofini is the 2nd product market transparency tool after the much discussed e-kalathi which is estimated to be operational before the end of the year.

Ερχεται το e-kofini γι&alpha ; γεωργικπροioντα

By Maria Herakleous

A digital tool that will enhance transparency in relation to the prices of agricultural products is being prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, which was announced by the responsible minister Maria Panagiotou in the context of the ministry's report on the one-year government of Nikos Christodoulidis. It is about e-kofini, a measure which is rather a temporary solution until the implementation of the EU Observatory. in the coming years, which will give real data on the cost of the product reaching the consumer. In statements to “K”, the Minister of Agriculture stated that the goal for e-kofini is transparency which will be achieved by posting the average prices of specific agricultural products as sold by producers as well as their retail prices – how that is, it reaches the consumer. The tool is expected to be ready in the coming weeks, with estimates placing it in operation within April. As the responsible minister emphasized, producers must be able to produce high-quality agri-food products and consumers can enjoy these products at affordable prices, and this is the goal of the digital tool, which will offer updated information on the average selling prices of of basic agricultural products, as determined by producer groups and organizations, as well as for retail prices from various points of sale. “This platform aims to make the market more transparent and enhance consumer awareness by facilitating access to important data through a simple link on the Department of Agriculture's website.” It is therefore expected that, in the coming days, in the Department of Agriculture, a price collection mechanism will be set up from the producer groups for the basic production products and on the other hand there will be a price collection mechanism for the products in the supermarkets for the same agricultural products. Their prices will be posted in a relevant table on the website of the Department of Agriculture.

The products

The reason for this idea was the publication of the product prices of the agricultural organization SEDIGEP Sotiras, which usually posts on a daily basis the sales prices of specific products from the producers on social media. Although the final list of products that will be posted on the website of the Department of Agriculture will be clarified in the near future, it is nevertheless estimated that it will not deviate significantly from the list of products included in the posts of SEDIGEP Sotiras – which includes products from the fruits and vegetables category.

The posted list of the agricultural organization includes field cucumbers, greenhouse cucumbers, tomatoes, colocasia, broad beans and beans, luvi, potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplants, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, onions, carrots, strawberries, watermelons, etc. In the last post we see that the maximum price for greenhouse cucumbers was 50 cents (per kilo), at €1.50 was the maximum price for field cucumbers, at €1.40 the maximum price for tomatoes and at €2.20 for cherry tomatoes, at 1.40 euros the Sotiras colocasia and at 3.50 euros the green beans. Eggplants had a maximum price of €1.10, courgettes 60 cents, cauliflower 50 cents, cabbage 25 cents, broccoli 40 cents, peppers €2.50, strawberries €1.60, strawberries €3.50 pineapples and 2.50 euros/per kilo for watermelons. Although there can be no price comparison, it is indicated that according to the Price Observatory, the weighted average price for greenhouse cucumbers in March was 1.88 euros/kg, 2.72 euros/kg for field cucumbers, at 1.29 euros/kg for A tomatoes and 1.57 euros/kg for fresh potatoes.

The platform aims to make the market more transparent and enhance consumer information.

Record Values

As the Ministry of Agriculture clarifies, this is not an observatory but a simple recording of retail and wholesale prices, while clarifying that these are already available data, the ministry will simply aggregate them and post the averages. On the consumer side, the president of the Cyprus Consumers Association, Marios Drousiotis, said that the concept is satisfactory and the platform will help consumers understand the functioning of the agricultural products market. As he mentioned, the Association has been asking for research for the last 3 years on the way agricultural products are marketed. He noted that there are complaints about the commercial chain of the agricultural products market from production to retail, as there is a large discrepancy between the producer price and the retail price of the products.

Already, according to the minister, there have been discussions with other agricultural organizations and consumer groups, and it was decided that these are elements that can be used, announced and useful to both producers and consumers. Of course, it cannot be ruled out that there will be reactions to this venture, from the part of the retailers. From the ministry's point of view, it is clarified that this is not an observatory but a simple recording of the retail and wholesale prices of specific fruit and vegetables. However, e-kofini is the 2nd tool aimed at transparency in the product market after the much-discussed e-kalathi. It is recalled that the relevant bill was passed by the Plenary Session of the Parliament in December 2023 after many months of discussions and disagreements about its content. As the Consumer Protection Service informs “K”, the development of the software and the operation of the platform should to be expected until the end of 2024. It is recalled that the tender for the installation, operation, maintenance and operational support of the platform started on March 1st, while the deadline for submitting applications is April 22nd. The estimated value of the creation and management of the e-kalathi platform amounts to 485.2 thousand euros.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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