To strengthen agricultural marketing opportunities, the government opened e-NAMs in 18 states and union territories. Furthermore, they have successfully encouraged one crore farmers and 1 lakh traders to register.
Thousands of Mandis Added to the Platform in the Past Few Months
Recently, the central government completed the integration of 1000 wholesale mandis with electronic- National Agriculture Market (e-NAM). The said integration occurred in two phases. The first phase included 585 mandis while the second phase comprised 415 e- NAM integrations. The agricultural minister reports that the 38 mandis integrated recently in Madhya Pradesh and Telangana brings the tally to 415. Following that, Rajasthan also added 119 more mandis to the e-NAM platform to help farmers. Subsequently, they registered 2,205 farmers and 2,989 traders and engaged in the trade of 2,885.3 tonnes.
Many Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees are engaging in digital bidding through e-NAM. Under the current COVID-19 situation, the addition of more mandis is a boon to farmers. Further, e-NAM creates a common online platform, “One Nation, One Market” for all agricultural commodities. Therefore, it is a step in the right direction.
Fast Tracking Integration
To provide end to end connectivity to farmers, the government is fast-tracking the integration of e-NAMS to FPOs and warehouses. Subsequently, the FPOs and warehouses will connect to “Kisan Rath”, a transport aggregator mobile app. A senior agricultural minister said that this would promote barrier-free interstate and intrastate trade outside the mandi premises. Further, he said that 10,000 FPOs would be integrated with e-NAM in the next five years. Additionally, the farmers will be able to access market data and therefore can sell their product at better prices, he said.
Is the Platform Going to Benefit Farmers?
Though the idea sounds good on paper, many questions arise regarding the viability of the scheme. Firstly, the e- NAM platform would serve as an online market place, just like Amazon or Flipkart. Further, it is mandatory for both the buyer and seller to register. Moreover, the farmers had to take their produce to assessors, who then determined the quality of produce. Subsequently, the government understood the hassles involved. And, they said that farmers could get the products graded at the nearby warehouses. However, the government is yet to offer complete clarity regarding the solutions.
Unfortunately, many farmers are facing difficulties with the process. Even though there is immense pressure from the government to use the e-trading platform, many prefer physical trading.
In conclusion, only 14% of farmers have access to online trading. Therefore, the government should make the (e- NAM) scheme more accessible to benefit the farmers of the nation.