The Union government’s decision to relax norms governing foreign direct investment in retail has drawn a sharp political response. While the government believes the change was essential for the country to overhaul its antiquated supply chain— particularly with respect to agricultural produce—the political opposition believes the process will adversely affect small retail outlets. Though the jury is still out on this, it is apparent that the reform initiative is attempting a change from the top.
Beginning with the procurement of agricultural produce to its transfer by roads to local ‘mandis’ or the marketplace, each stage of the supply chain is either governed by norms determined by state governments or often in the control of non-state actors such as agents. Comprehensive change, therefore, will require a commitment from all stakeholders.
Also See | From farm to consumer (PDF)