Study on “Who is the “arthi”: Understanding the commission agent’s role in the agriculture supply Chain-Findings from a Scoping Study in Pakistan’s Punjab” financed by IGC. The availability of financial services is an important element to overall economic growth. Despite efforts to increase the reach of formal financial institutions into rural communities, their services are limited and skewed towards large landowners. Smallholder and other resource constraint farmers are largely bypassed and instead rely on the informal sector to meet their financial needs. As such, the informal sector—consisting of private money lenders and other intermediaries—provides a necessary service even if the market is often regarded as being uncompetitive and limiting the income growth potential of smallholder farmers. This study provides insights into the role of middlemen (arthis) in meeting the financial needs of smallholders.