Market and Economic Research Centre (MERC) | NAMC

MERC was established in 2007. At the time the need was realised by the NAMC that in order to fulfill its mandate much more intensive research is required. The MERC consists of different focus areas, i.e. information and knowledge management, trade and market access and agro-food chains. Broadly stated the MERC aims to:

a. gauge the efficiency of the market for every agricultural commodity on an ongoing basis;
b. to devise programmes for the improvement of the markets’ performance; and
c. where necessary to instigate and guide specific market development programmes, preferably in co-operation with the DAGs, but where necessary even through the use of statutory interventions in terms of the MAPA or by invoking the machinations of other acts like for instance the Competitions Act.

An important part of the activities of the MERC include the Food Price Monitoring, Input Cost Monitoring, TradeProbes, Fruit Trade Flow and Food Cost Review publications. These publications are cited widely in the press and provide a valuable foundation for decision making by stakeholders. MERC also takes responsible as the South African node coordinator of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN).

Key Programs

Trade Research; The focus is conducting research on trade related research including exports and imports, trade statistics, ethical trade and export promotion, We collaborate with industries such as DAFF (Directorate of International Trade), DTI, Tralac, SATI and other industry bodies to achieve this.

Agro-Food Chain; The NAMC conducts in-house research on agri-foods. It collaborates with other institutions to gather key data and transform it into more accessible information. One such program is the Input Cost Monitoring Review and Food Cost Price Monitor.

Linking Farmers to Markets; In driving transformation, the NAMC engages in a number of initiatives to provide emerging farmers with information to access markets. Case studies, research reports and producer profiles are elements in which the NAMC highlights transformation and the success of emerging farmers.

Projects managed by the division include;

Trade Seminars (click and it leads to below content)
Through the Markets and Economic Research Centre the NAMC quarterly hosts industry seminars based on any current agricultural topic. Speakers are invited to make presentations on any agricultural topical issues related to imports and exports, ethical trade, food prices, modelling techniques etc. This is in reassurance to provide market access and improve on the viability of the agricultural sector.

Anyone person(s), group and organisations are invited to submit a topic based on an agricultural issue that is economic, trade, policy and academic related. For more information Contact Yolanda Potelwa at