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Farm-to-fork fails to take off as dependence on mandis continues

Despite government effort, food companies, retailers continue to depend mainly on mandis for procurement

food procurement, mandis
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Experts say the lockdown period was the best time for this system to be upended and for the farm-to-fork model

Viveat Susan Pinto
Protests have marred this year’s wheat procurement season across the north Indian belt. At the heart of the agitation are commission agents or arhtiyas, who’re upset the government is pushing for companies and retailers to engage directly with farmers. 

Arhtiyas are a powerful lobby of brokers in rural India, who’ve traditionally called the shots in the agricultural value chain, lending money to farmers to conduct their farming activities and helping them sell produce in mandis or marketplaces once the harvest is ready. 

Experts say the lockdown period was the best time for this system to be upended and for the farm-to-fork model,

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First Published: Apr 29 2020 | 10:33 PM IST

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