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The IUP Journal of Management Research :
Demographic Characteristics of Farmers of Rythu Bazaar: Analysis of an Indian Farmers’ Market
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Farmers’ markets offering direct marketing opportunities have the potential to economically benefit the farmers. In India, the first farmers’ market started its operations in 1987. Yet, the realization of the profitable marketing center that meets the requirement of enhanced profits, as envisaged by the state governments is not fully achieved. Against this backdrop, this paper studies the demographic characteristics of the small and marginal farmers with specific reference to the farmers operating from Rythu Bazaars—the farmers markets of Andhra Pradesh (a state in southern India), to understand the economic impact of these markets on the farmers operating from Rythu Bazaars. This may result in increased participation of small and marginal farmers in such markets which will go a long way in increased generation of their incomes. The paper found a high positive correlation between levels of education and income, and also between the number of working members of a farmers’ family involved in agriculture income. Proper awareness and training may improve the family income of the farmers operating from these market yards.

 
 

In farmers’ markets, producers of agricultural and dairy products sell their produce directly to consumers without any intermediary. This benefits both the producer and the consumer. The concept of such markets is nothing new. The first farmers’ market was established in 1730 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Farmers sold their wares on tables under some crude shades.1 Farmers’ markets started gaining popularity and their numbers started increasing. Towards the end of the 19th century, Lancaster saw the establishment of at least eight markets. The growth in numbers of farmers’ markets has been more rapid in the last few decades. Growing affinity towards locally grown produce with known sources of origin has attracted consumers towards these markets. The number of retail farmers’ markets in the USA, grew from over 340 in 1970 to over 3,000 in 2001 (Brown, 2001).

In India, the first farmers’ market was set up in the state of Punjab. Called Apni Mandi, the market started its operations in 1987. The success of Apni Mandi paved the way for more such markets. Orissa, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh2 started farmers’ markets in their states. Farmers’ markets in India are a result of the social initiative of state governments. The Andhra Pradesh government started Rythu Bazaar in 1999. Rythu means farmer in Telugu, the local language of Andhra Pradesh. The word bazaar comes from the Persian word ba–za–r. Ba–za–r means a place where transactions take place. The objective of starting Rythu Bazaars was to provide a platform for farmers (producers) to sell their produce directly to the consumers. Elimination of intermediaries ensured that farmers get remunerative prices for vegetables and agro-based products like eggs and mushrooms and that consumer gets them fresh and cheap. By also making sale proceeds available to farmers without any deductions, there is a direct impact on farmers’ earnings. Also, by curbing malpractices in weighing, these bazaars aimed at making a difference to the lives of farmers operating from these market yards. The aim of this paper is to study the demographic characteristics of the farmers and the economic impact of these markets on the farmers operating from Rythu Bazaars.

 
 

Management Research Journal,Farmers’ markets offering, profitable Marketing Center , Demographic Characteristics of Farmers, Farmers of Rythu Bazaar.