While Kerala is at an advanced stage of implementing e-NAM, official-level discussions are being held with Bihar and, from the next fiscal, trading could start in both the states.
Farmers in Kerala and Bihar may be able to sell their agri-produce on the government-promoted electronic national agriculture market (e-NAM) platform by March. Mandis in these two states are yet to be integrated with the portal as they had earlier scrapped their Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) law.
APMC framework will no longer be a requirement for participation in e-NAM. While Kerala is at an advanced stage of implementing e-NAM, official-level discussions are being held with Bihar and, from the next fiscal, trading could start in both the states.
As many as 585 mandis in 16 states are connected with e-NAM to date, while 415 additional mandis are targeted to be integrated by March 31. Among major agricultural producing states, only Karnataka, Bihar and Kerala are yet to join the platform. Karnataka has a state-level portal already in operation before the launch of e-NAM, and the Centre has been insisting on the state to join the national platform.
While farmers and traders use the mandi premises for buy-sell activities in Kerala and Bihar, the local administration only controls the physical infrastructure. The Kerala government has been working on a model under which district-level agricultural or agri-marketing officer will head a mandi-level committee for seamless integration with e-NAM. The committee will decide on rules to enable trading through the portal as well as to put up necessary infrastructure, including laboratory for testing for the electronic auction.
“As there is no APMC laws in these states, there is no requirement of issuing any unified trading licence since all registered traders on the e-NAM portal will be eligible to buy from any mandi there,” a government official said. Once these states roll out e-NAM, traders there will also be registered on the portal, the official said.
So far, more than 1.65 crore farmers and 1.27 lakh traders across the country have been registered under e-NAM. Official data also show that only 22% of the total registered traders under e-NAM have received unified licences to trade within a state. The tardy progress is despite the fact that such licence is a must to facilitate inter-mandi transactions. From the time of its inception, agriculture produce worth Rs 91,000 crore has been traded on this platform till December 31, 2019, and the government targets to take it close to Rs 1 lakh crore by May.
The turnover of trade on e-NAM increased 24% on year to Rs 14,000 crore during the April-October period of the current fiscal year.
The volume, too, went up 19% to 44 lakh tonne during this period. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, MP and UP are among the top performers on e-NAM.