Since the electronic national agriculture market (eNAM) project was launched in April last year, hardly 4% of the wholesale trade in farm commodities has shifted to it; as far as inter-mandi/inter-state eNAM trade is concerned, it has remained a non-starter, meaning the objective of empowering farmers with a wider buyer base hasn’t been met. FE has now learnt that showing the government’s own minimum support price operations as eNAM sales is what helped even the handful of states like Haryana to report relative progress on this pet project of the Modi government.
According to J Ganesan, chief administrator, Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board, around 60% of Rs 13,600 crore trade captured on eNAM platform in the state since the project’s launch are nothing but the MSP operations for rice and wheat carried out by the state government agencies on behalf of Food Corporation of India (FCI). At 40% of the total wholesale trade in farm goods, Haryana’s eNAM sales have been the highest in the country.
In Karnal, Asia’s biggest grain mandi, the entire procurement of 16 lakh quintal of wheat purchased by state agencies in the recently concluded rabi marketing season (2017-18) was captured on the eNAM platform. “Only in case of basmati paddy, eNAM was used for trading last year; however, in the absence of intra-state licences to traders, only some 200 of them have so far registered with us for eNAM,” Chandar Prakash, secretary, agricultural produce market committee (APMC), Karnal, told FE.
Ganesan said though electronic trade is now happening within the mandis, the next step would be linking all key mandis in the state electronically and then connecting them to markets in other states. “We have granted more than 50 state-wise (single) licenses to traders to enable them to carry out eNAM transactions including all mandis in the state,” the official said. The state government has also abolished Rs 10,000 fee for mandi-wise registration.
Experts say only after the integration of all the big mandis (some 500 in the country) under one single electronic platform where farmers and traders could sell and buy commodities irrespective of state borders, the pan-India agricultural market would become a reality.
According to agriculture ministry data, against the target of integration of 400 APMC mandis into the e-NAM network by March 2017, only 245 such mandis in 13 states have partly shifted to NAM platform so far. The target is to integrate all the 585 such mandis into NAM by March 2018.
Of the total eNAM (read intra-mandi electronic trade) of Rs 23,250 crore so far, Haryana topped with Rs 13, 600 crore, followed by Telangana (Rs 4039 crore), Gujarat (Rs 3529 crore) and Uttar Pradesh (Rs 1097 crore). Only 48 lakh farmers — of an estimated 14 crore in the country — and 91,000 traders and 48,000 commission agents have got registered with NAM.