With completion of two years of BJP led NDA government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched eNAM portal for the benefit of farmers. The agenda is to provide relief to the farmers and minimize the gap between farms and mandis. This step may be seen as a step to reduce suicide of farmers. It is pan India initiative which aims at ensuring transparency in buying and selling of agricultural commodities. This can be assessed as a tool which would help to create a national network of physical mandis that can be accessed online.
WHAT IS eNAM AND IT’S USES
National Agriculture Market (NAM) has been conceived to create an online platform which will integrate the APMC regulated market yards across the States to create a National Agriculture Market. Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India has decided to promote NAM through Agriculture Tech Infrastructure Fund (ATIF) by creation of a common electronic platform deployable in selected regulated markets across the country. This initiative is focused on reducing information asymmetry, increasing market reach for the farmers, and reducing transaction costs. Integration of APMC’S across the country through the e-platform is seen as an important measure for overcoming the challenges posed by the present APMC’s system namely – fragmentation of State into multiple market areas, each administered by separate APMC, multiple levy of mandi fees, requirement for multiple license for trading in different APMCs, licensing barriers leading to conditions of monopoly, poor quality of infrastructure and low use of technology, information asymmetry, opaque process for price discovery, high level of market charges, movement controls, etc.
PHASES OF eNAM
NAM will be deployed in selected 585 regulated wholesale markets in States/UTs desirous of joining the e-platform. Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) is operating the NAM as the implementing agency with technical support from the Strategic Partner (SP). 400 mandis will be integrated by March 2017 and remaining 185 by March 2018. Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW) is meeting expenses on software and its customisation for the States and is providing it free of cost. The eNAM platform currently lists 23 commodities and integrates 21 agricultural markets across eight Indian states.
COMPONENTS OF eNAM
- A national e-market platform for transparent sale transactions and price discovery initially in regulated markets. Willing States to accordingly enact suitable provisions in their APMC Act for promotion of e-trading by their State Agricultural Marketing Board/APMC.
- Liberal licensing of traders / buyers and commission agents by State authorities without any pre-condition of physical presence or possession of shop /premises in the market yard.
- One license for a trader valid across all markets in the State.
- Harmonisation of quality standards of agricultural produce and provision for assaying (quality testing) infrastructure in every market to enable informed bidding by buyers. Common tradable parameters have so far been developed for 25 commodities.
- Single point levy of market fees, i.e on the first wholesale purchase from the farmer.
- Provision of Soil Testing Laboratories in/ or near the selected mandi to facilitate visiting farmers to access this facility in the mandi itself. M/s. Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd. is the Strategic Partner (SP) who is responsible for development, operation and maintenance of the platform. The broad role of the Strategic Partner is comprehensive and includes writing of the software, customizing it to meet the specific requirements of the mandis in the States willing to integrate with NAM and running the platform.
BENEFITS OF eNAM
- For farmers, NAM promises more options for selling their produce and competitive returns.
- For local traders, NAM will provide access to larger national market for secondary trading.
- For bulk buyers, processers, exporters, NAM will enable direct participation in the local mandi trade, reducing intermediation cost.
- Stable prices and availability to consumer.
- For mandis, NAM benefits in terms of reduction in book keeping and reporting system, which are generated automatically; better monitoring and regulation of traders and commission agents; completely transparent system which eliminates any scope of intentional/un-intentional manipulation of tendering / auctioning process; improvement in the market fee collection by means of accounting all the transactions that are taking place in the market; reduction in manpower requirements as tendering / auctioning process takes place through the system; (this system helps to declare the winner for the lots within few seconds even for thousands of lots in the market); analysis and forecasting of the arrivals and prices; availability of the activities of each APMC on the website directly.