The Wheat Marketing Activity in Pakistan

Keywords : wheat marketing
Publication Year : 1987

The present study is the result of a research project jointly carried out, between October 1981 and September 1983, by the Centre for Development Planning in the Economics Faculty of the Erasmus University, Rotterdam, and the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad. The project aimed at providing maximum information on the working of the wheat market in Pakistan. As will become clear in the following pages, a study of the wheat market in Pakistan is a many-splendoured thing. From the farm-gate to the final consumer there are many catalytic agents — viz, village shopkeepers, beoparis, commission agents, wholesalers, procurement centres and ration shops — whose economic behaviour determines the size of the marketed surplus and the price that the producers receive and the final consumers pay for wheat and wheat flour. While the government intervenes — indeed, rules the roost — in the wheat market, mainly by fixing the procurement price and by setting up an elaborate distribution system, the many private traders listed above are, so to speak, the many slips between the producer’s cup and the consumer’s lip. It is, therefore, important to deter- mine exactly the functions performed and the business handled by these economic agents, and to know, at least approximately, about the efficiency with which these jobs are done and the ‘price’ that the producers, consumers and the society pay for these services. Here we have the problems of efficiency and social welfare inextricably bound up with the manner in which the wheat market functions.