Farmers in 8 states to trade via e-agri market from today
The upcoming launch of national e-agriculture market on Thursday on a pilot basis will enable farmers in 8 states, including UP, to sell online 25 commodities in 21 wholesale mandis and get better prices. Once the targeted 585 wholesale mandis across the country are integrated with the national e-agriculture market (NAM) by March 2018, the Centre will allow inter-state sale of agri- produce after addressing issues related to taxes among others.
The electronic launch of NAM portal will be formally done tomorrow by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here in the national capital on the 125th birth anniversary of Bhim Rao Ambedkar.
Simultaneously, the e-portal will be inaugurated by state dignitaries in 21 wholesale mandis in eight states -- Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh. Briefing reporters on NAM, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said, “We have received proposals from 12 states for integration of 365 wholesale mandis. Of these, 21 mandis from 8 States have been selected for the pilot launch.”
He said 25 commodities like onion, potato, apple, wheat, pulses, coarse grains and cotton, among others, have been identified for online trading. For instance, in Uttar Pradesh, six wholesale mandis -- Sultanpur, Lakhimpur, Lalitpur, Bahraich, Saharanpur and Mathura -- have been integrated with the digital platform for trading wheat. Farmers can sell their produce in any one of these markets where prices are quoted higher. To integrate a wholesale mandi with the online platform, the state governments have to amend their APMC Act to ensure there is a single licence for trading to be valid across the state, single-point levy of market fee and provision for electronic auction as a mode for price discovery. Singh said some states have given in-principle nod to be part of NAM and are expected to soon send their proposals while in states like Bihar and Kerala, there is no APMC Act and those states need to take a call. According to a senior agriculture ministry official, the NAM portal has been designed for integration of mandis across the country. However, on a pilot basis, online trade will be allowed within the state initially. Once all states and mandis are integrated, the inter-state trade will be allowed.
There are some statutory requirements and a committee under the chairmanship of former chief of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) Ashok Gulati will submit a report recommending how to go ahead with inter-state trade via NAM after studying the matter, the official added.
The government is aiming to integrate 200 mandis by September this year and entire 585 mandis much before March 2018. About Rs 200 crore budget has been sanctioned for this purpose.