Thursday, 10 May 2018

The Master Post on Everything you need to Know about Agriculture in India

Again, a Work-in-Progress post, where I dump everything of relevance. No, the heading is not presumptuous at all.

Source 1: A deceptive-looking useful document prepared by a Foretell Business Solutions Private Ltd. in collaboration with ICRISAT. A Guide to Linking Farmers to Markets - Concepts and Case Studies.

Rao, P., Basavaraj, G., & Foretell Business Solutions (P) Ltd. (2013). A Guide to Linking Farmers to Markets - Concepts and Case Studies. (Research Program on Markets, Institutions and Policy (MIP), ICRISAT, Issue brief). ICRISAT. Retrieved May 10, 2018, from

Based on operating location, markets in India can be divided into -

  1. Village markets - allows for direct transactions between farmer and consumer.
  2. Primary markets - located in towns near the area of agricultural production - typically would involve farmers or traders bringing product for sale.
  3. Secondary wholesale markets - located at sub/district level, away from area of agricultural production. Transaction takes place between trader and wholesaler. E.g. APMC mandis
  4. Terminal markets - in larger cities where the produce is dumped for sale to final consumer or for export. E.g. Azadpur mandi in Delhi
I just realised a Value chain is a specific kind of marketing system. This, after doing a six month project evaluating whether a project looking at integrating value-chains had robust processes. In a traditional marketing systems, there is just a 'push' from one player to another - farmers produce commodities that are sold to the final consumer through a chain of intermediaries, and there are spot transactions. Farmers have no control over prices they receive.

In contrast, in a 'value-chain' market system, the farmer is apparently tuned into the needs of the consumer, and works closely with suppliers and processors to get the product to the consumers. Hence finance, R&D, seeds, irrigation, risk management tools etc. are inputs for farmers, they are in close contact with processors and manufacturers, who in turn are in close contact with retailers and exports who in turn provide the good to the consumers. This is true for a traditional  marketing system as well. In a value chain marketing system, there is additional bi-directionality in terms of flow of information from consumers to retailers/ exporters to processors/ manufacturers to farmers to suppliers/ finance/ agri scientists etc. [This could be overall framework for our study].

The issue is basically - how to integrate the small farmer into the value chain? [Since small farmers dominate in eastern UP]
There are essentially various ways to do that (say contract farming, FPOs etc. which are forms of marketing channels). But in terms of basic steps, the following are needed - some form of collective marketing that can graduate to full collective enterprise. The idea is to enable aggregation of produce, basic processing (procurement, sorting, grading and cleaning) and negotiation with traders. Can also pool capital, share risks, and benefits. Additionally, makes it easier to have basic infra like weighing machine, drying platform, storage platform etc. Training may be needed for providing marketing skills and partnerships with the private sector may help have assured market.

Looking at the actual models of marketing these may be -
Contract farming: 

You know there are times when sex selection works in favour of females?
For cows.
When I say 'couple', I mean two. Is that not the correct usage? 

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