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Give an account of the cloth market of Erode

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A shirt for sale in the market has a long trip from the cotton manufacturer to the consumer in the supermarket. This voyage involves a series of markets, with buying and selling taking place at each stage. The majority of farmers have modest plots of land. To have a decent cotton crop, they must put in long hours. Cotton picking on a cotton plantation is a difficult chore. Cotton harvesting takes several days since cotton bolls do not rupture all at once. Cotton growing needs a large number of inputs, such as fertilizers and insecticides. Farmers sometimes have to borrow money from local vendors to cover these expenditures. The dealers charge a hefty interest rate. They also stipulated that the farmer sell cotton solely to that dealer and nowhere else. This compels a farmer to sell cotton at a lower price than the market rate.

In the communities, traders are strong men. A farmer relies on such traders for money in times of need, such as illness, schooling, marriage, and so on. Furthermore, farmers must borrow money in order to subsist during the lean season. An agricultural produce market committee (APMC) is a marketing board established by state governments of India. APMC acts on two principles:

  • Make certain that intermediaries (including money lenders) do not force farmers to sell their produce at the farm gate for a pittance. This prevents farmers from being exploited. 
  • All food products should be carried to the market yard before being auctioned off.
  • A state is physically split under APMC Acts, and markets (Mandis) are formed at various locations within the states. Farmers must sell their crops at the mandi auction. A merchant must obtain a license to operate in Mandi. Farm production cannot be purchased directly from the farmer by wholesalers, retail dealers (e.g., shopping mall owners), or food processing companies. They must pass it through the Mandi.

The Erode Cloth Market

A bi-weekly cloth market is held in Erode. This is one of the world’s major fabric marketplaces. This market sells a wide range of clothing. Cloth created by weavers in neighboring villages is also brought here for sale. There are offices of cloth merchants that buy this fabric all throughout the market. Other vendors from various south Indian locations also come here to buy fabric.

Weavers deliver fabric manufactured on request from merchants to market on market days. These merchants provide fabric on a custom basis to garment makers and exporters around the country. They acquire the yam and direct the weavers on the type of cloth to be manufactured.

What happens to the fabric purchased at Erode?

The cotton cloth is supplied by the Erode merchant to the garment exporting industry near Delhi. The garment exporting manufacturers utilize the material to produce shirtsThe shirts are exported to overseas purchasers such as company owners from the United States and Europe who run retail chains. These stores operate on their own terms. They desire the lowest possible price. They established high criteria for manufacturing quality and on-time delivery.

They carefully handle any flaws or delivery delays. Under the ‘putting-out method,’ weavers get paid relatively little. Weaver’s cooperative is a means for them to reduce their reliance.

People with similar interests form a cooperative and work together for mutual gain. They undertake collective activities such as yam procurement and distribution among weavers. They also handle marketing. The merchant’s function is diminished, and weavers make more money. The government also assists the cooperative by purchasing fabric from them at fair prices. The Tamil Nadu government has a Free School Uniform scheme in place. The fabric is obtained from power loom weaver cooperatives.’ The government purchases cloth from handloom weaver cooperatives and sells it through ‘Co-optex shops.’

Advantages for the weaver

  • They don’t have to spend money on yam and they know exactly how much cloth they need to manufacture.
  • They do not have to worry about selling the final fabric.

Drawbacks for the weaver

  • They rely on the merchant for raw materials as well as market information.
  • They are paid very little. They have no idea who is creating the fabric.
  • They are unaware of the cloth’s market value.

Relationship between market and equality

The foreign businessman generated enormous gains in the market. Profits for the clothing exporter were modest. Workers in the garment export industry, on the other hand, earn barely enough to satisfy their basic requirements. Similarly, we witnessed the little cotton farmer and weaver at Erode putting in long hours of hard effort. However, they did not receive a fair market price for their goods.

The merchants or dealers fall somewhere in the middle. They have earned more than weavers, but it is still far less than exporters. As a result, not everyone benefits equally in the market. They cannot consider themselves equal to others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: How does this method serve the merchant?


The merchant provides the orders and raw materials. They purchase the fabric at a low cost and resell it to garment companies at a premium cost.

Question 2: How does the market chain play a part in the tale of the shirt?


  • A market chain connects the cotton producer to the supermarket shirt consumer.
  • Buying and selling occur at each link in the chain.
  • This does not benefit everyone in the chain equally.
  • This chain is most beneficial to the retailer.

Question 3: When and where does the tale of a shirt begin and end?


The origins of the shirt may be traced back to the cultivation of cotton. It comes to an end with the selling of a garment.

Last Updated : 04 Aug, 2022
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