The government will link additional 200 wholesale mandis to the online trading platform eNAM this financial year and also encourage inter-mandi transactions, Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak has said.
At present, 585 regulated mandis in 14 states are linked with the electronic National Agriculture Market launched in April 2016.
Though the target is to connect 200 more mandis to the eNAM platform this year, the priority would be given to improve the quality and encourage inter-mandi online trading.
Online trading on the eNAM platform can be done through website, trading platform and mobile App available in several regional languages.
The 14 states include: Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
In the first phase, the government wants to ensure all wholesale agri-mandis adopt online auction and gradually will allow trading between mandis in a state and eventually between mandis outside states, thereby setting up a single national agriculture market for the benefit of farmers.
What is National Agriculture Market (NAM)?
NAM is an online platform with a physical market or mandi at the backend. NAM is not a parallel marketing structure but rather an instrument to create a national network of physical mandis which can be accessed online.
It seeks to leverage the physical infrastructure of mandis through an online trading portal, enabling buyers situated even outside the state to participate in trading at the local level.
NAM is said to have the following advantages:
For the farmers, NAM promises more options for sale. It would increase his access to markets through warehouse based sales and thus obviate the need to transport his produce to the mandi.
For the local trader in the mandi/market, NAM offers the opportunity to access a larger national market for secondary trading.
Bulk buyers, processors, exporters etc. benefit from being able to participate directly in trading at the local mandi/market level through the NAM platform, thereby reducing their intermediation costs.
The gradual integration of all the major mandis in the States into NAM will ensure common procedures for issue of licences, levy of fee and movement of produce. In a period of 5-7 years Union Cabinet expects significant benefits through higher returns to farmers, lower transaction costs to buyers and stable prices and availability to consumers.
The NAM will also facilitate the emergence of value chains in major agricultural commodities across the country and help to promote scientific storage and movement of agri goods.