Towards One Agricultural Market in India: Does the ICT Help?
The current phase of economic reforms in agriculture is oriented to help farmers reach out to a larger all India market in order to fetch the best prices and earn higher incomes. The government has already been relaxing regulations to clean the market of imperfections and improve its efficiency, but moving towards ‘one’ Indian market has become a more targeted objective of reforms. The paper reviews the fast-changing scenario of institutional reforms and application of ICT as a facilitator of reforms. Empirical analysis with data on pulses reveals a convergence of prices in states towards a national-level price enabled by information flow from major markets but cannot confirm the role of trade in equalizing prices nor the benefit of higher prices reaching the producers. This transition period still shows signs of selective market integration and asymmetrical market responses mostly observed in consuming states.
The authors thank Dr. Sangeeta Chakravarty, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, for her advice on the empirical analysis.
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