An event aimed at helping farmers increase their income by 2022 through a seven-point development plan was held at Kochi last week.
Bringing together scientists and farmers at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), a major focus was placed on online trading through which farmers could avoid being cheated by middlemen and trade their produce for a price worthy of their hard work.
By the way, did you know that there is a pan-India electronic trading portal launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare that connects farmers, traders, buyers, exporters, and processors under a single platform?
The ‘National Agriculture Market’ or NAM scheme was launched as a portal last year with the goal of formulating a unified national market for agricultural commodities by integrating Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees or APMCs across states in India.
Agriculture marketing in each state is administered as per state-wise agri-marketing regulations, under which the region is bifurcated into several market areas that are subject to further market fragmentation.
Along the way come multiple additions of handling charges and taxes that only end up raising the price for consumers without commensurate monetary returns to the farmer.
The portal was established by the government as a measure to address all of these challenges and provide a transparent and seamless system for every person in the agriculture sector.
e-NAM is managed by the Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), which is a registered society of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers’ Welfare (DACFW).
Here are salient provisions that can be availed through the portal:
1. The facility will allow states to have their own agri-marketing platforms that can be linked with NAM. For this, willing states will have to accordingly enact suitable provisions in their APMC Act for promotion of e-trading by their State Agricultural Marketing Board/APMC.
2. The highlight of the scheme is the single point levy of market fees, i.e. on the first wholesale purchase from the farmer.
3. The provision lets farmers to showcase their produce in nearby markets and facilitate traders from anywhere to quote price.
4. The portal enables harmonisation of quality standards of agricultural produces and provision for assaying (quality testing) infrastructure in every market that will pave way for informed bidding by buyers.
5. There will be liberal licensing of traders or buyers and commission agents enabled by state authorities without any precondition of physical presence or possession of shop /premises in the market yard.
6. One license for a trader will be valid across all markets in the state.
7. Under the scheme, a provision of Soil Testing Laboratories in or near the selected mandi (market) has been set up. This will help visiting farmers access the facility in the mandi itself.
To know more, you can reach out to SFAC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 1800 270 0224.
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