Indian farmers have traded 2.25 crore tonnes of agricultural commodities worth Rs 58,930 crore on the eNAM (national Agriculture market) portal till 31 December, The Hindu Business Line reported, quoting Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.
The National Agriculture Market or eNAM, which was launched on 14 April 2016, is a pan-India electronic trading portal which aims at connecting the existing Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) mandis across the country so that there is a unified national market for agricultural commodities.
Speaking at a function to mark the silver jubilee celebration of the Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium, the lead implementing agency of eNAM, Singh also said that around 415 new Mandis will be connected with the e-NAM by 2020. The new target builds up on the previous one of bringing 585 Mandis by March 2018, which Union government remarkably achieved the on time. Singh also added that online trade had benefited as many as 63.75 lakh farmers.
The eNAM achieved a significant milestone earlier this month (19 January). For the first time, an inter-state sale of a farm produce took place on the eNAM online platform. On 9 January 2019, a farmer from Uttarakhand’s Haldwani Market sold tomatoes produced in his farm to a trader in Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. A statement from the Ministry of Agriculture said that similar online trading in cauliflower, brinjal and potatoes has begun.
The trading has been facilitated by interactions between the Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh governments after a series of coordination meetings were held by officials from both the states, including those who man the agricultural markets or mandis.
A significant development of the inter-state trade is that licensing of traders has been facilitated by both these states on eNAM portal. This has been among the problems that had affected seamless trading across the country on the portal.
Three issues were hindering seamless trading on eNAM. One was a lack of universal or licence to trade nationally for traders. Though about 1,000 traders had applied for universal licence, they couldn’t trade on the electronic terminals across the country. The second issue was lack of assaying and grading facilities. When a produce is not assayed or graded, traders from another region or centre will be reluctant to trade. A trader has to be guaranteed for the quality of the produce he/she buys. In the absence of such a guarantee, eNAM failed to attract traders from across the country. The third issue is lack of personnel to assay and grade farm produce. Some markets have procured the equipment and are ready to put up a laboratory to test and grade farm produce. But no personnel has been recruited yet for carrying out these tests.
Also Read - What Agriculture Needs Is ‘E-NAM-Dari’
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