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The benefit of cold storages: Evidence from Bihar

Minten, Bart and Reardon, Thomas and Singh, K.M. and Sutradhar, Rajib (2010): The benefit of cold storages: Evidence from Bihar.

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The Indian government has provided large subsidies to stimulate the take-off of the cold storage sector. However, the impact of this policy is not well understood. In a case study of the potato sector in Bihar, we find that there have been dramatic increases and rapid up-scaling of cold storages, seemingly driven by these government subsidies among others. Wealthier farmers participate more directly and relatively more in cold storages, especially towards the commercialization of potatoes. Small farmers benefit relatively more indirectly, i.e. through the higher prices in the harvest period, as well through the cheaper storage of seed potatoes. However, more competition in the cold storage sector in Bihar is desirable as to drive down the relatively high cost of storage as well as to improve services delivery in input, output, and financial markets from these cold storages that especially the smaller farmers might benefit from.

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