Food Retailing in the digital economy- Growth, Challenges and Prospects
Agricultural marketing in India has emerged over the decades influenced by socio-cultural-economic factors, government reform initiatives and global economy factors. Government policies and private sector initiative based on Information and Communication Technologies have infused some dynamism in this hitherto neglected sector. Retailing of farm fresh produce is now done through online stores. Volume of trade in this format is marginal yet increasing. Big-Business Organised Retailers are now investing in this online format too. There is a need to study the challenges and opportunities in this format due to its increasing presence in the economy. Growth of the sector will benefit both farmers and consumers. The farm to fork story of Indian Agriculture, to some extent, has become possible due to reforms introduced through digital technology. Yet, all is not well in the sector. Digitally illiterate and economically weak farmers are not able to capitalise on these digital opportunities.The agricultural marketing sector digitisation will be considered fruitful when supply chains become efficient leading to a rise in farmers’ incomes as well as bringing food security to consumers. This paper is an effort to understand the growth and extent of online food retailing format and its impact on stakeholders.