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Image: International Markets & Trade


The Expansion of Modern Grocery Retailing and Trade in Developing Countries
(July 2011). Modern grocery retailing has been expanding rapidly in developing countries. The expansion could affect food trade by helping consumers achieve their preferences for dietary diversity, convenience, and quality, as well as by introducing supply chain efficiencies that may reduce real food prices. The findings suggest that modern retail expansion has been associated with the demand for nonprice characteristics, such as convenience in food shopping and preparation, rather than developing more efficient supply chains.

Indian Sugar Sector Cycles Down, Poised to Rebound (April 2010). A cyclical decline in sugar production is shifting India, the world's second largest producer, from net exporter to net importer during 2009/10 and contributing to the recent runup in global sugar prices, but production is poised to rebound in 2010/11. The recent swings in Indian sugar production are primarily due to a policy-induced cycle that has become increasingly pronounced.

Growth and Equity Effects of Agricultural Marketing Efficiency Gains in India (December 2009). Agriculture is the largest source of employment in India, and food accounts for about half of consumer expenditures. More efficient agricultural marketing could generate economywide gains in output and wages, raise agricultural producer prices, reduce consumer food prices, and increase private consumption, particularly by low-income households.

The Environment for Agricultural and Agribusiness Investment in India (July 2008). Despite strong overall economic growth and strengthening food demand, investment in Indian agriculture and agribusiness has remained sluggish, and growth in farm output has slowed, since the early 1990s. The policy environment has grown more investor friendly since the late 1990s and private investment appears to be responding, but significant barriers remain and the pace of future reforms remains uncertain.

Indian Wheat and Rice Sector Policies and the Implications of Reform (May 2007). The economic environment for India's food grain sector has changed significantly since the Green Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. Future developments will be shaped by changes in productivity and consumer demand, but primarily by how policies adapt to the new environment. Some of these changes, such as reducing price supports and the scope of government food grain operations, would likely curtail government costs, benefit consumers, allow for a larger private sector role in the domestic market, and increase reliance on international trade.

The Role of Policy and Industry Structure in India's Oilseed Markets (April 2006). Rising incomes in India are likely to lead to continued strong growth in that country's demand for oils and oil meals. Extensive policy intervention affects Indian oilseed production, trade, and processing. Current high tariffs on oilseeds and oil are of little benefit to Indian producers while imposing high costs on consumers. Policy reform, particularly liberalization of oilseed imports, could improve producer and consumer welfare and have a significant impact on trade.

Prospects for India's Emerging Apple Market (January 2006). Strong economic growth is projected to lead to continued expansion of Indian apple demand, but the high cost of domestic and imported apples compared with other Indian fruit is likely to limit consumption to higher income consumers. High internal marketing margins-or returns to traders over and above measured costs-are a major contributor to high retail apple prices.

Growth Prospects for India's Cotton and Textile Industries (June 2005). Indian cotton use is expanding due to rising demand in India and increased textile and apparel exports following the removal of Multifiber Arrangement quotas. Reforms to policies that discriminate against large scale manufacturing and use of manmade fibers should boost export competitiveness and demand growth. Raw cotton imports have increased recently, with future growth dependent on how much progress is made in improving domestic cotton yields and quality.

The World Bids Farewell to the Multifiber Arrangement (MFA) (February 2006). This Amber Waves article describes the genesis and consequences of the MFA, and the impacts of its removal. China, India, and Pakistan are the cotton-textile-exporting countries expected to benefit most from the MFA's demise. However, global cotton use is largely being driven by other factors, such as income growth. For the full report, see The Forces Shaping World Cotton Consumption After the Multifiber Arrangement (April 2005).

Indian Agriculture: Status and Reform Potential 2004PDF icon (16x16) (August 2004). Most of India's extensive policy interventions in agricultural markets were introduced in response to conditions prior to independence in 1947, as well as the food crisis of the mid-1960s. Agricultural policies are now resulting in burdensome subsidies, weak investment, and sluggish growth in the sector. Recent election results revealed significant dissatisfaction with the performance of the rural and farm sector, which may give impetus to reforms that develop infrastructure and remove regulatory constraints to private investment in agricultural technology and markets.

The Elephant Is Jogging: New Pressures for Agricultural Reform in India (February 2004). India's economy and agricultural sector have made remarkable progress in the 57 years since independence in 1947. Now, however, the agricultural sector has outgrown the policies that contributed to past success, as strengthening consumer demand, rising subsidies, and low agribusiness investment create pressure for policy reform.

India's Poultry Sector: Development and Prospects (February 2004). Poultry meat is the fastest growing component of global meat demand, and India, the world's second largest developing country, is experiencing rapid growth in its poultry sector. In India, poultry sector growth is being driven by rising incomes and a rapidly expanding middle class, together with competitively priced domestic feed supplies and the emergence of vertically integrated poultry producers.

India's Edible Oil Sector: Imports Fill Rising Demand (November 2003). India is the world's leading importer of edible oils and is likely to remain an important source of global import demand for the foreseeable future. Income and population growth, trade policy reforms, and domestic agricultural policies affecting the productivity of India's oilseed farmers and processing sector have contributed to increased consumption and import demand.

India's Pulse Sector: Results of Field Research (May 2003). India has the world's largest pulse sector, but despite liberal import policies, imports have remained a small share of supplies and per capita consumption has declined. This report describes the market for crops such as chickpeas and lentils in that country and assesses the United States' competitive position as a supplier.

India's Consumer and Producer Price Policies: Implications for Food SecurityPDF icon (16x16) (February 2003). Rising retail grain prices (due to higher farm support prices) are the principal constraint to improving access to food by the poor, who spend roughly 80 percent of their income on food. Improving marketing efficiency and farm yields would allow retail food prices to fall without adversely affecting farmers.

India Relaxes Restraints on Agricultural ImportsPDF icon (16x16) (November 2000). Following an agreement negotiated under the World Trade Organization, India will replace its quantitative import restrictions with a system of tariffs and tariff-rate quotas by early 2001, providing trade access to all its commodity markets, including agricultural markets.

Trade Liberalization and the South Asian Economies: Adjusting to the Challenges of GlobalizationPDF icon (16x16) (December 1999). South Asian countries have made significant strides in the past two decades in reforming economic policy, removing trade restrictions, and implementing Uruguay Round Agreement commitments, but further reform is needed to attain food security and improve economic growth in the region.

Related Links:

U.S. Department of Agriculture

World Agricultural Outlook Board. Supply and demand estimates, weather and climate

Foreign Agricultural Service. Country and commodity information

Other U.S. Government

Commerce Department

International Trade Administration. Exporter information

International Trade Commission. Reports and publications

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, Trade Policy Agenda, and Annual Report on the Trade Agreements Program

Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook

International Organizations

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

FAOSTAT. Data on production, trade, food balance sheets, fertilizer and pesticides, land use and irrigation, forest and fishery products, population, agricultural machinery, and food aid shipments

World Bank. Country and regional reports and data

International Monetary Fund. Country reports

World Trade Organization. Trade topics, including dispute settlements

Indian Government

Government of India. Directory of websites of government institutions

Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation. Agricultural statistics and information on agricultural programs and policies

Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Research and Education. Information on agricultural research

Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Trade policies, statistics, circulars, and trade-related agency websites

Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution. Information on public storage and distribution of food grains and related policies

Ministry of Finance. Annual budgets and economic survey reports

Indian Economic Research Centers

National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research. Research studies on Indian agriculture.

Center for Management in Agriculture, Indian Institute of Management/Ahmedabad. Research studies on Indian agriculture and agribusiness.

Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations. Research on Indian macroeconomy, trade relations, and agriculture.

National Council for Applied Economics Research. Research on economic growth, investment, agriculture, and consumer behavior.

Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research. Research on economic, technological, social, political and ecological aspects of Indian development.

Last updated: Tuesday, March 01, 2016

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