Focus on the Global South, India, Social-Ecological Transformation |
Indian Agricultural Markets: Policy, Challenges and Alternatives
Agricultural in India is in crisis. Since 2014, the country has seen two droughts from which it has not yet rebounded. Crop agriculture has been growing at only about 0.5 percent per annum; agriculture overall is growing at 3 percent per annum. Over the last twenty years the dominant policy discourse has veered towards two solutions: one, moving agricultural marketing from the States to the Centre; and two, revoking the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC) Act and allowing a free market in agriculture. In this context it would do well to understand about agricultural marketing and policy in general, and APMC markets in particular.
This report by Focus on the Global South is an output of a two-day symposium on "Agricultural Markets in India: Policies, Challenges and Alternatives" that brought together academics, experts, farmers and peasants’ groups to take stock of the contemporary challenges around agricultural commodity markets in India. The report highlights issues such as public procurement, costs and prices, price volatility, impact of trade treaties on domestic prices, linkages between food, nutrition and agricultural markets, retail trade in agriculture, digitalization and new reforms in agricultural marketing. The report also explores peasant and worker driven alternative models of market management, including the importance of territorial markets.