There are about 15 crore Indian farmers. Indian Agriculture suffers from multiple problems and so does this very large segmentation of Indian population. A few prominent ones are:
Small and fragmented land-holdings, Seeds, Manures, Fertilizers and Biocides, Irrigation, Lack of mechanisation, Soil erosion, Agricultural Marketing, and broken supply chain, Inadequate storage facilities....
The broken supply chain hurts our farmers in multiple ways so that our farmers only receive a small fraction of the prices that retailers pay to buy fruits/veggies/grains from retails stores. We enumerate a few news articles and references, detailing the problem faced by farmers due to this broken supply chain management system, heavily stacked against our farmers.
1. Articles in the popular press
2. Jist of agriculture supply chain problem
The current mechanism for farmers to sell their agricultural produce is to take it to the nearest (typically) Mandi, after grading and packing. Their the produce is auctioned by the Commission Agents, also called as 'Arthiyas', to the traders. The Commission Agent receives a 'cut', called 'commission' in the transaction, for provisioning this. The trader typically makes the payment to the 'Commission Agent' in the same day, or in a few days in the worst case. The farmer receives a partial payment in the same day, and the rest is transfered to him via an online bank transfer.
This system is replete with multiple problems: Mandi prices are dynamic, and can vary substantially in a day, week, or month, or season. There are trader cartels, and under handed arrangements between commission agents and traders, and can/do cheat the farmers in variety of ways. The payments to the farmers are not in time.
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