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Commodity markets are at the heart of development and understanding them is a necessity. Through unique field research over the last quarter century, this book examines the political economy of markets for staple foods in West Bengal. From serious food deficit to rice bowl of India, the Left Front government implemented a set of celebrated reforms to production but the food markets remained untouched until the late 1990s, as a result reformed agrarian structure interacted with an unreformed marketing system. This volume traces the result both before and after liberalization This lucidly written book breaks the traditional way of looking at the agricultural system through a) ownership patterns, and b) inter-linked contracts of trade. These two systems not only help understand markets but also about how agriculture is organized in India. It is the first study to conceive of the post-harvest sector as a system of markets. While analysing the informal community financing system the book also weaves into it the role of ethnicity, caste, and clan in market operations. This helps the reader to understand commodity markets. The importance of availability of credit to petty traders and post-harvest trade channels brings to light a very important gap in policymaking and available literature where the focus was always on credit for cultivation only. It shows how political economy may be used to contribute constructively to development policy. The volume is the first to examine regulation-both by the state and by means of institutions of social identity. It pioneers the study of self-regulation of markets through institutions of collective action.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Weight: 693 g
Dimensions: 224 x 145 x 30 mm
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