FDI in retailing and inflation: The case of India

Author
Nandita Dasgupta
Content Type
Policy Brief
Institution
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Abstract
India's food price inflation is a major driving factor behind the country's overall accelerating inflation over the past few years. Agricultural food prices in particular have risen recently: over the past year vegetables have become costlier by 18%, pulses by 14%, milk by 10%, and eggs, meat and fish by 12%. The rise in fruit prices was, however, relatively smaller (5%), and the same happened for cereals (3%). This price escalation is largely due to an inefficient supply chain in agriculture. Some of the supply side constraints have been identified: poor agricultural productivity, lack of corporate involvement in agriculture, ceilings on landholding size, existence of middlemen, hoarding, and, more importantly, insufficient cold storage facilities and transportation infrastructure. Around 50% of fresh produce in India rots and goes to waste between the farm gate and the market because of inadequate cold storage facilities and a poor distribution network. These factors unfavorably affect agricultural supply, create a supplydemand gap and help raise food prices.
Topic
Security, Agriculture, Development, Economics, Food, Foreign Direct Investment
Political Geography
South Asia, India