Taking More Than a Commission; A Critique of the Commission Agent System in Punjab Agriculture
The traditional moneylending system as represented by the arhtiyas in rural Punjab is undergoing varied changes. As Punjab’s agrarian crisis is deepening day by day, the entire peasantry has sunk deeplyinto indebtedness. On the one hand, farmers have become increasingly dependent on the arhtiya for a steady flow of cash not only for agricultural inputs but also for other daily needs crucial to their survival; on the other, capitalist development in the agrarian sector has transformed the rigid caste based arhtiya system into a lucrative economic profession where today even big farmers, after reaping surplus from agriculture, are joining this business. It is time for policy makers, experts, and other stake holders to look at these changes closely. This book explores the various dimensions of the arhtiya system and attempts to suggest an alternate marketing system. It also questions the prevalent informal credit market and recommends measures in favour of the hard working debt-ridden peasantry of Punjab.
Sukhpal Singhis Professor of Economics at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. With his deep and abiding interest in political economy with special emphasis on agricultural economics, he has written extensively on rural economy and agricultural policies. He has been an executive member of of the Indian Society of Agricultural Economics and the Editor of the Journal of Agricultural Development and Policy. He is the author of Dynamics of Rural Poverty that focuses on small farmers and agricultural labour of Punjab. He has also authored important research reports on farmers’ indebtedness, rural education de-peasantization and rural suicides in Punjab.
Tejinder K Dhaliwalobtained her PhD degree in Economics from Punjabi University, Patiala and MSc in Agricultural Economics from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. Presently she is working as Research Associate in the project,‘Strengthening of Agricultural Marketing Research’, funded by Punjab Mandi Board. She has many research papers to her credit published in renowned researchjournals. She has presented various research papers in national level seminars and conferences.