ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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States of Wheat

The Changing Dynamics of Public Procurement in Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh has emerged as one of the leading wheat procurement states in the country in the last five years, reflecting remarkable changes in the regional distribution and dynamics of the country's grain procurement landscape. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Harda Mandi, this paper describes the new systems and processes that have been implemented in the market yard and examines their effects on the mandi and key participants - farmers, traders, labourers, functionaries, and multiple state agencies. By focusing on the logistics and micropractices of procurement, it grasps the interconnections between critical elements of market processes and their impact on market participation and outcomes.

I would like to thank P S Vijayshankar for detailed comments on this paper and guidance throughout my research; Shashank Srinivasan for preparing the maps and the International Growth Centre for funding support for the mapping exercise as part of a larger project on agricultural markets in India; and most of all, to the many individuals in Harda Mandi for putting up with an anthropologist during the procurement season.

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