Report on 2018 HINDAS 5th Regular Seminar

2018 HINDAS 5th Regular Seminar

The 117th Study Session of the "Development and Cultural Change Forum"


Date: 13:30-17:40, Saturday, October 27th, 2018

Venue: B153, 1F, Faculty of Letters, Hiroshima University



Maharjan, Keshav Lall (Hiroshima University, Japan):

“Marketing and trade of agricultural products in India and Nepal: Some characteristics and issues”

 Market mediates demand and supply of the products, smoothens transaction, optimizes quantity, quality and price of the products and creates a win-win situation for the buyers and the sellers, in principle. However, unequal numbers/strength of buyers/sellers, limited/abundance of products/goods (their quality) and skewedness of information are common in actuality. Often, there are price takers/price makers and monopoly/oligopoly in the market. In case of agricultural products, wholesale markets are such markets where the sellers would be farmers, petit traders, cooperatives, bigger supplier traders and the buyers would be (semi) wholesalers, retailers/venders/hawkers and consumers.

In India, Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) regulates quantity, quality and price of the goods in the market since early 1960s. There are some 2477 principal regulated markets and 4843 sub-market yards regulated by respective state APMCs in India. These markets provide outlets and incentives for increased production and contribute to the commercialization of subsistence farmers. In Nepal, marketing system under the Agricultural Marketing Services, Ministry of Agriculture, functions like the Indian system under APMC. Commission agents/wholesalers, nodal point in the value chain in such markets play the vital role of match making between the buyers and the sellers. They have strong network to collect all sorts of information regarding the market and the products, possess enough capital and credit and often they are involved in the business for generations. Thus, they have enough market power to control price, flow direction and transaction amount of the produce and command area across the districts, states and the countries.

Delhi APMC markets collect produces mostly from northern Indian states and subcontinent and distribute to all over India and even up to Bhutan, Nepal and times to Bangladesh and Pakistan, relaying through the in-between state APMC markets, thus forming a “Northern Indian Subcontinent Market/Economic Zone”. As, such, the marketing of the produces become the international trade between India and the respective countries. In case with Nepal such trades are done from Kanpur, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Baraich, Laxmipur, Maharajganj, Raxaul, Jogbani, Siliguri APMC markets in India through cross border trade points, such as Panitanki-Kakarbitta, Jogbani-Biratnagar, Raxaul-Birganj, Nautanawa-Bhaurahawa, Maharajganj- Nepalganj, and so on. This trade is ever expanding with improvement in road network, capacity of trucks and driving skills and economic development as a whole.

However, in this trade there is a huge trade imbalance between the countries heavily lopsided against Nepal, with excessive imports from India. Moreover, for Nepal the share of trade of agricultural products (and overall trade) with India is big in its international trade, but for India that is just a small fraction of its international trade. However, in terms of trade intensity, even for India the trade of agricultural products with Nepal is very significant. In this trade between the two countries, India has revealed comparative advantage in many products, but recently, Nepal has such advantage in tea, and perhaps large cardamom when the spice component is disintegrated. While in case of vegetables, it is not stable. Thus, when there is dearth of vegetable supply in India, the produces move rather freely from Nepal to India that involves all levels of market players, most important being the Indian traders. On the other hand when there is rather abundance of such produces in India, the produces from Nepal go through the nontariff measures checking at the border trade points. It is to be noted here that the nontariff measures such as sanitary and phytosanitary measures are much complicated and stricter in India than in Nepal. Besides, it is also to be noted that the produces flow vigorously across the open border in both the directions between the two countries, the transaction volume such is yet to be captured in trade statistics.



Sundas, Binu (University of Delhi, India):

“Food Availability and Consumption Behaviour among people in India: Evidences from the field”

 After independence food security has been a major concern in India. The initial years after independence did not see much of agricultural growth and the Bengal famine, prior to independence, which killed more than 3 million people was a matter of great concern. In order to overcome the agrarian crisis, the government of India envisaged a sustained growth through the Five Year Plans. However, not until the Green Revolution did Indian agricultural productivity increase significantly. Though there was an increase in production it only benefitted the big farmers who could afford to invest on the technology and subsequently the small farmers did the reap the benefits of this revolution. The small farmers position also made them vulnerable to the money lenders exploitation as institutions would only extend their support and aid if these poor farmers could give them any kind of security in return of the loans. To free the farmers from the clutches of the money lenders and to guarantee the farmers a good price for their produce the government implemented the APMC Act in the 1960s. However, nothing changed much in the consumption and availability pattern of food in the country. Dietary habits remained the same. Fruits and vegetable consumption was less.

In the 1990s the economic policy of India underwent a drastic transformation. This had an impact on the economic growth of the country. There was a rise in income of the population and this led to a change in food habits of the population. The demographic profile of the working population also changed, with the young population dominating the new industries which came along with the economic liberalisation. Fruits and vegetables became a major part of people's diet. Fruits and other items started to be imported in the country. Also new avenues for food business started to open. There was many choices to choose from for the people of the country. This led to a change in the dietary practice of the people. This paper will analyse the availability and consumption of fruits and vegetables among the people of Delhi and Noida.



Singh, Manjeshwori (Nepal Development Research Institute (NDRI), Nepal):

“Value Chain of Potato in Nepal: Current Practice and Perception of Producers and Traders”

As a largely rural agrarian economy, Nepal’s movement towards agricultural commercialization has been slow. Moreover, mass out-migration of youth from rural areas has changed agrarian dynamics with amplified implications in the agricultural sector. The vegetable sector in Nepal has a comparative advantage over other crops, and the Government of Nepal has also emphasized to develop and strengthen the vegetable supply system nationally. However, several limitations and risks currently exist at different levels of the vegetable production and marketing system in Nepal. While promoting agri-entrepreneurships in Nepal, value chain approach is getting popular among government agencies, international organizations, along with private sector and farmers’ groups. The value chain approach demands efficient operation from each participant in the delivery chain from producer to consumer and profitable collaboration with other participants in the chain. For efficiency, each link in the chain needs to be operating with the most appropriate technology, in full knowledge of market requirements, in a business environment with a fair and transparent tax regime, minimal trade impediments, and acceptable quality controls in place (ADB, 2010) 1. This study analyzed the overall existing potato value chain components, potato marketing practices, and the perception of potato producers and traders in Nepal. The study focuses on the vegetable wholesale market in Kathmandu and potato producers in neighboring districts. The major output of the study was an in-depth understanding of the potato value chain and role played by value chain actors- input suppliers, producers, traders and consumers in the potato supply system. Some additional implications of the study were identification of constraints faced by value chain actors in different stages of potato value chain through perception of value chain actors within each link in the chain.



Joshi, Niraj Prakash (Hiroshima University, Japan):

“The large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb.) in Indian sub-continent”

Large/big cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb.), also known as Alaichi or Kali Elaichi or Bara Elaichi in Indian sub-continent, is a spice crop, also regarded as “Queen of Spices”. The crop is native to Nepal, Bhutan, and India. The world production of large cardamom is concentrated in these three countries in Indian sub-continent mainly grown organically. It is grown as a cash crop in Eastern Nepal, Southern Bhutan, and Sikkim, Darjeeling district in West Bengal, Arunanchal Pradesh, and Nagaland in India (Rabindran et al., 2012; SBI, nd). Nepal is the world’s largest producer of large cardamom (ITC, 2017). Its demand in the international market is increasing and favorable climatic condition in the hilly regions of these countries for its production has proven to be an important prospect as a high-value cash crop to uplift living standards of farmers in these countries. However, its area under cultivation and production in the region is stagnant or even dwindling. Under this context, this paper aims to explore production of the large cardamom and its distribution, its value chain, and discuss trade related issues that are causing pressure to the producers in Indian sub-continent. 




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