This Workshop is one of the milestones of the Research Project on Facilitating Efficient Agricultural Markets in India: An Assessment of Competition and Regulatory Reform Requirements sponsored by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The eminent speakers included Prof Arvind Panagariya, Columbia University; Prof Allan Fels AO, Dean, Australia and New Zealand School of Government; Prof Ramesh Chand, National Professor, NCAP; Mr. B.J. Phillips, Head of the Competition Division, OECD; Dr. Eduardo Pérez Motta, President, Federal Competition Commission, Mexico; Mr. Dhanendra Kumar, Chairperson, Competition Commission of India.
It was emphasised that an important issue associated with microeconomic reform in the context of Indian food chains and food security is the need to ensure farmers benefit from the reform process. In addressing this concern it is useful to consider the determinants of farm productivity – an important contributor to achieving sustained growth in farm incomes. Discussions about productivity often focus on farm level technologies and production system improvements. More fundamental determinants, however, and ones for which government is largely responsible are (i) the openness of an economy, (ii) the policy settings of government and (iii) the degree of competition.