Agriculture

Seamless market connectivity to 1000 more APMCs through the National Agricultural Market (eNAM)

By Neelkamal Darbari, IAS, Managing Director - SF AC

The National Agriculture Market (eNAM) has aspired to facilitate a “One Nation One Market” eco-system for trading of agricultural commodities. Presently, a 1000 eNam mandis have been integrated across 18 States and 3 UTs, with a user base of 1.69 Cr Farmers, 1.55 lakh Traders and 87,827 Commission Agents. As on the 31st Jan 2021, a total volume of 4.12 Crore MT and 3.64 Crore numbers (Bamboo, Betel Leaves, Coconut, Lemon etc.), collectively worth approximately Rs. 1.22 lakh Crore have been traded on the e-NAM platform. Further, digital transactions of more than INR 958 Cr. have been carried out over e-NAM transactions, benefitting over two lakh farmers. Presently, 175 commodities, including food grains, oilseeds, fibers, vegetables and fruits, are traded on eNAM.

Essentially, the features available on the e-NAM platform benefit various stakeholders, especially farmers. A robust mobile app, and website is available in twelve languages and is equipped with a OPS based mandi locator for searching mandis within a radius of I 00 Kms., along with details of commodities and prices. Using e-NAM, farmers can track progress of bids for their lot being traded through mobile. They can also secure real time information about prevailing commodity prices in nearby mandis. The mandis are enabled with advanced gate entry, sampling and assaying reports. Weighbridges and electronic weighing scales have been integrated with the eNAM Platform for transparency and error free weighment of commodities.  Payment to farmers by traders can also be done online, through mobile app via-BHIM UPI, debit card & NEFT mode.

Mandi users/traders can use advance features like viewing quality certificate, push notification, bunching of invoices and shopping cart features etc. Also, a 360- degree image of the commodity lots via mobile is made, making it more conducive to  online bidding, using the eNAM mobile app.  Furthermore,  a Business Intelligence (BI) dashboard is available for better monitoring and decision making for APMC Officials. During the testing times and Iockdown period of COVID-19 crisis, this transformational scheme of Government of India, e-NAM has provided a unique trading platform which not only helped in decongesting the APMC premises, through a transparent system of assaying, electronic bidding and online payment facility but also ensured better and remunerative prices to the farmers. The eNAM Call Centre has been expanded in order to facilitate logistics as well as attend to related grievances of farmers, FPOs and traders.

Such interventions have led to better price realization on eNAM. To give specific examples, farmers received higher prices for Soya (yellow) in Vidisha Mandi (Madhya Pradesh) on eNAM. Similarly, data analysis reveals that famers received better prices for Masoor in Neemuch Mandi (Madhya Pradesh). Similarly, Bandikui mandi (Rajasthan), gave better prices for Chana on eNAM. It is estimated that about 91,859 farmers have been benefitted in terms of higher price realisation due to eNAM, with this number multiplying rapidly.

Further initiatives in this context may be viewed in terms of efforts to streamline logistics, quality assaying and same day payment realization.  Notably, the budget for FY 22, allows APMCs to leverage the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund to augment and upgrade their infrastructure. The components that can be developed in APMCs under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund may include Assaying, grading and sorting facilities, pack houses and cold stores etc. Further, strengthening of Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority to set up a commodity market eco system arrangement including vaulting, assaying, logistics etc., in addition to warehousing, will also streamline post-harvest management practices, thereby reducing wastage. The existing warehouse (eNWR) based trading on e-NAM can be extended to more warehouses to provide an option for direct sale of stored produce.

Given the target of another 1000 mandis on the anvil for integration, about a third of the total mandis would be integrated. Together the 2000 mandis, is likely to cover more than half the trade in APMC mandis.  In this context, eNAMs growing contribution towards seamless market connectivity is a game changer in the agriculture sector and SFAC is proud to have contributed to this initiative.

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