Arhtiyas are commission agents who facilitate the transaction of agricultural produce between the farmers and the actual buyers. The buyer maybe a processor, an exporter, a government agency like FCI (Food Corporation of India) or even a private trader. They arrange for such transactions via auctions and also help in delivering the produce. The arhtiyas are also involved in financing the farmers. They function as middlemen, especially in the northern states. They are locally referred to as ‘bichauliya’.