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

Devesh RoySubscribe to Devesh Roy

Exploring the Markers of Differential Access to PDS

The various pathways of differential access to the public distribution system in India are analysed. There are three salient features of this exercise: the use of heterogeneous class, caste and gender positioning of the beneficiaries for understanding their varying ability to access their rights; the concept of “effective prices” as a determinant of differential access; and the quality of grains and services as a marker of subtler differentiation.

Product Differentiation to Tackle Farm Distress

The political discourse on agriculture has focused on support to farmers, notwithstanding that what has most failed the Indian agriculture is markets for outputs. Without alternative marketing opportunities, no two tomatoes or potatoes are differentiated and any increase in supply lead to price collapse, which has been at the core of agrarian distresses in India.

Making Pulses Affordable Again

While outlining strategies to increase availability of pulses at affordable prices, it is argued that increasing domestic production of pulses is the only option. Access to one or two protective irrigation sources during the growing season can lead to sizeable increases in pulse production. The har khet ko paani initiative should give priority to pulse-producing areas. The minimum support price, without procurement, helps traders more than farmers because it acts as a focal point for tacit collusion among traders. Including subsidised pulses in the public distribution system has only a small effect on consumption of pulses. We suggest investing in research and extension, aggregating into farmer producer organisations, and paying growers or growing areas for the ecosystem services offered by pulses.

Direct Cash Transfer System for Fertilisers

The challenges in implementing a direct cash transfer system for fertilisers are daunting. This paper points out that they range from the very large number of beneficiaries to volatile fertiliser prices, necessitating market price indexation of cash transfers and controlling the market power of dealers, especially in remote areas. The imbalance in the use of different fertilisers is also a growing problem. If designed properly, a DCT should be accompanied by significant investment in soil testing and the payment should be tied to balanced use of fertilisers, including micronutrients.
Back to Top