In the past few weeks, the government of India has made significant announcements on reforming agriculture, particularly the regulatory framework for managing markets across the country. The reforms have been described as path-breaking, long-term changes that will significantly alter the terms of trade in favour of the farmer.
What are these reforms, what do they mean in practice, and what impact are they likely to have on the everyday lives of India’s farmers and markets?
In this episode of the Centre for Policy Research podcasts, Yamini Aiyar, President and Chief Executive of the Delhi-based think tank, speaks with Mekhala Krishnamurthy, Senior Fellow and Director of the new State Capacity Initiative at the centre. Krishnamurthy is also an Associate Professor at Ashoka University.
She sheds light on the history of agriculture market reforms in India, the intricacies of the mandi system or the wholesale vegetable markets, and where the current reforms fall short on benefitting farmers. She recommends that while they are a step in the right direction, the government must look at expanding and strengthening the mandi system in order to truly double farmers’ incomes.