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Mandis: Agricultural Markets and Market Towns in India

Photo by Dr. Mekhala Krishnamurthy

Based on the work of CASI post-doctoral fellow, Mekhala Krishnamurthy, we initiated a study of “mandis” (rural markets) which play a key role in enhancing food security and the growth and development of the nation’s settlement system. Understanding the diversity and complexity of these rapidly changing markets and their relationships to larger economic forces, especially the transformations in the linkages between rural and urban India is vital to enabling greater participation, inclusion, and dynamism in India’s economic growth. With a modest preparatory grant we conducted two exploratory research projects: 

  • A supply chain study of tuar (pigeon pea) in Karnataka (led by IIM-Bangalore) This is one of the very few studies that carefully analyzes the entire supply chain of an agricultural commodity, and the distribution of costs, profits and risks across all agents along the supply chain.
  • Exploratory fieldwork to understand the marketing system in rural Bihar after the abolition of the APMC Act by the Government of Bihar (conducted by Jeffrey Witsoe, Union College) and a comparative analysis of regulatory reforms in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar (conducted by Mekhala Krishnamurthy)

This project concluded in summer 2013.



 “Understanding Mandis: Market Towns and the Dynamics of India’s Rural and Urban Transformations.”

"Understanding Agricultural Commodity Markets", P.S. Vijay Shankar & Mekhala Krishnamurthy, Economic & Political Weekly, December 29, 2012



"States of Wheat: The Changing Dynamics of Public Procurement in Madhya Pradesh",Mekhala Krishnamurthy, Economic & Political Weekly, December 29, 2012



Partnering Institution

India Institute of Management-Bangalore


Research Affiliates

Mekhala Krishnamurthy

CASI Non-Resident Visiting Scholar

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology,

School of Humanities and Social Sciences,

Shiv Nadar University


Jeffrey Witsoe

CASI Spring 2012 Visiting Scholar

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

Union College



Project Funding

International Growth Centre in London (IGC, a funding unit of the London School of Economics and Political Science)