Address: Directorate of Economics and Statistics (DES), New Delhi, India
The Directorate of Economics and Statistics (DES), an attached office of the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, collects, disseminates and publishes statistics on diverse facets of agriculture and related sectors required for policy formulation by the Government. Over the years, a number of initiatives have been taken to bring about improvement in the coverage, quality and timely availability of these statistics. Recent years have witnessed growing emphasis on the need to bring about necessary changes and refinements in the existing system to make it capable of coping with the challenges posed by emerging policy issues in a more open economy.
Among the various functions of the DES, the most well known is perhaps the one relating to Minimum Support Prices (MSPs), which are fixed on the basis of the recommendations made by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices. The most important factor considered by the CACP in making its recommendations on MSPs for different crops is the cost of cultivation/production for which the data base is provided by the DES through its plan scheme on cost of cultivation. The relevance and significance of MSP is linked to production and prices. Advance information on the production of different crops therefore assumes considerable importance. Similarly monitoring of the price movements in both the domestic and international markets is equally important in relation to the MSP regime. A sound database on different facets of agriculture is important both for the formulation of policy and the evaluation of its effectiveness in achieving the desired goals. The Plan Schemes of DES seek to serve this purpose.