We have been approached by several state governments to start the project on a pilot basis. We are negotiating with these state governments, based on the success of the pilot project in Karnataka. By 2013, we hope to see 2-3 states starting the mandi modernisation project, Vijay Kumar, chief business officer, NCDEX, said after launching a gold contract delivery centre in Hyderabad and Chennai.
The pilot project was started in Karnataka in 2010 and has completed the first phase. Out of 54 Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in the state, the project has covered 15, which together trade in eight commodities, he said. Further, the second phase of the mandi modernisation project includes providing facilities such as grading, shorting and storage to the farmers at the mandi.
In the second phase, which is standardisation and grading, APMCs within the state will be integrated. And, in the third phase, infrastructure and technology would be developed for a web-based platform in order to facilitate national trading. Once the mandis are interlinked and web-based, it will allow a trader to trade from any place, and will increase competitiveness, Kumar explained.