Barter continues in this Andhra hamlet

Women exchange forest produce for rice and salt

Barter System:

barter system is an old method of exchange. The is system has been used for centuries and long before money was invented. People exchanged services and goods for other services and goods in return.

The Edugurallapalli tribal shandy that gathers on Fridays is reminiscent of the ancient barter system.

Shandy is in Chintoor Agency in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district.

Goods in Exchange:

  1. Forest Produces: sesame seeds, dry mahuaflowers, tamarind seeds and tamarind fruit
  2. Rice, Iodized Salt and other commodities

The majority of those engaged in exchanging the forest produce are Muria tribal women from Banda and Muriagudem areas in the Naxal­ hit Sukma region in Chhattisgarh.

They travel nearly 40 km to reach the shandy and return in the evening.

In the ‘exchange trade practice’, middlemen decide the worth of the forest produce, thus exploiting the tribals.

Communication in the tribal language enables non­tribal middlemen to convince the Muria to sell
their products at throwaway rates.

Presently, a kg of dried mahua flowers (used by the local tribes to brew liquor) and sesame are being traded for two kg of rice or a few packets of iodised salt.

Drawbacks of barter System:

  • Lacks from the double coincidence of wants.
  • Lack of Common Measurement & value of the good
  • Difficult to make further payments and contractual payments
  • Tedious to store the items

Author: UINDO

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