Supermarkets in India: Struggles Over the Organization of Agricultural Markets and Food Supply Chains
69 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2013 Last revised: 3 Mar 2014
Date Written: November 13, 2013
This article analyzes the conflicts and distributional effects of efforts to restructure food supply chains in India. Specifically, it examines how large retail corporations are presently attempting to transform how fresh produce is produced and distributed in the “new” India — and efforts by policymakers, farmers, and traders to resist these changes. It explores these conflicts in West Bengal, a state that has been especially hostile to supermarket chains. Via an ethnographic study of small producers, traders, corporate leaders, and policymakers in the state, the article illustrates what food systems, and the legal and extralegal rules that govern them, reveal about the organization of markets and the increasingly large-scale concentration of private capital taking place in India and elsewhere in the developing world.
Keywords: Supermarkets, food law, contract farming, India, West Bengal, agricultural markets, land reform
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