The use of the e-platform of the National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) by farmers has picked up in Haryana and Gujarat while other states are still to catch up.
The use of the e-platform of the National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) by farmers has picked up in Haryana and Gujarat while other states are still to catch up. In the case of Haryana, of its annual agricultural commodities trade of Rs 35,000 crore, transactions worth Rs 7,000 crore now take place on the e-NAM platform.
The facility was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April last year with a view of enabling farmers to sell their produce to buyers of their choice, unhindered by physical barriers.
Out of the total sales of R10,485 crore via electronic means reported by some 200-odd mandis across 10 states so far, 46 markets in Haryana alone accounted for 68% and 40 mandis in Gujarat for another 15%. E-NAM
trade volumes have been rather low in the other eight states — Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Electronic trade is now happening within the mandis and the next step is to link them electronically to other mandis, including those in other states.
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An official with the Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board told FE that most of the recent trade in commodities like Basmati paddy (1121 and 1509 varieties), cotton and guarseed has been conducted using the electronic platform.
Around 21 lakh farmers of an estimated 14 crore in the country have registered with e-NAM so far. More than 68,000 traders and 31,000 commission agents have also been registered. India’s total trade in agricultural commodities is worth around R6 lakh crore annually.
As many as 18 states and union territories, including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, have fully or partially modified their agricultural produce market committee (APMC) laws for allowing electronic trade within the mandi premises.
The states that are yet to do so include Odisha, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Assam, while eight other states and union territories including Bihar, Kerala and Manipur do not have any APMC laws. The farmers in these states are deprived of the e-NAM facility.
However, an agriculture ministry official said that mandis are currently experimenting with the viability of such markets and within next six months or so more traders, agents and farmers would join the pan-India platform.
The official also said that for grading of commodities for trading on e-NAM, common tradable parameters have been developed for 69 agricultural and horticultural commodities.
“The Centre must persuade at least the BJP-ruled states to join the e-NAM platform. The benefits the new system will bring to the farmers will then be visible to other states and they might follow suit,” said Siraj Hussain, former secretary, department of agriculture.
The government is aiming at integrating 585 APMCs under one electronic platform by March, 2018.