Data collection could help India tackle its food inflation problem
An app that uses field inputs from farmers to forecast harvest-time prices could help us contain market gluts and shortages
The recent spike in Indian inflation is a reminder of how food prices are notoriously volatile. From weather and cultivation patterns to consumer tastes and incomes, the drivers of price fluctuations—and their interlinkages—are too vast to be captured in one framework. But an important factor behind these fluctuations are the persistent swings from oversupply to undersupply. Especially in the absence of adequate cold-storage facilities, relatively small changes in supply can have large effects on the prices of perishables.