In a bid to reduce number of intermediaries in fruit and vegetable marketing, the government will launch a National Agriculture Market (NAM) by the end of this year, which would integrate all the existing Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) across the country through an online platform.
The proposal to set up NAM was approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday.
In the proposed online agri-marketplace, the farmers bringing their produce to local APMC market would have choice to sell their produce to local traders or buyers registered with online platform but stationed outside the APMC locality or even the physical boundary of the state.
Currently, the farmers are restricted to sell their produce only at APMC market that often charge high levies or taxes on the produce. Often farmers do not get remunerative prices for their produce due to lack of access to alternate marketing mechanism.
“While the physical transaction would continue to be conducted through concerned APMC, the online platform would allow the bulk buyers, processor and exporters to participate directly in trading at the local mandi-level through NAM, which would reduce cost of transaction,” Parvesh Sharma, managing director, Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), told FE.
The SFAC, a lead promoter of the online national market, would offer a special software to each mandi which agrees to join the national network free of cost. Besides, SFAC would ensure timely delivery and settlements of payment for agriculture produce.
For registration with national online market, the concerned state must provide single licence to traders, which would be valid across the physical boundary of the state, the APMC would have to provide provision for electronic trading and issue licences to traders from any region or state who would operate through online
Sharma said that due to integration of all the APMC markets through online platform, the volume of business would significantly increase as there will be greater competition for specific agricultural produce, resulting in higher volume of transaction fees for the mandi.