New Delhi: The Electronic National Agriculture Market or eNAM, a key initiative of the Narendra Modi government to improve farm incomes, has surpassed its target by bringing 250 wholesale markets on to the platform, farm minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Thursday.
eNAM, launched by Prime Minister Modi on 14 April, had set a target of linking 200 wholesale markets or mandis by September.
“We have set a target of connecting 585 mandis by March 2018, but with cooperation from states, this can be achieved by December next year,” Singh said, adding, “while 17 states have either fully or partially amended their agriculture marketing acts to allow for electronic trading, states like Bihar and Kerala without any mandi laws are yet to frame regulations.”
According to the government, eNAM will give farmers and traders access to a national market and a wider choice when it comes to selling produce. However, for now, trade is limited to respective mandis in a state, meaning a farmer from Madhya Pradesh cannot access a trader from Haryana.
“In the first phase, we replaced physical trade with electronic trade in a mandi and, later, the electronic trade will be taken within the state and across,” said Ashok Dalwai, additional secretary in the agriculture ministry. “We are working on resolving issues like setting up a dispute resolution mechanism (in cases where online trade does not deliver the promised quality) and inter-state taxes.”
On Thursday, Singh launched the operational norms of eNAM and an app where farmers can see prices and volume of farm commodities traded on the platform.
According to ministry data, 154,000 tonnes of farm produce worth Rs.421 crore has been traded on eNAM. Till date, 160,229 farmers, 46,688 traders and 25,970 commission agents have been registered in 250 mandis across 10 states that have joined the platform.
Currently, 69 commodities are traded on eNAM.
“Under eNAM farmers can access online payment of sale proceeds and states have been asked to encourage payment to farmers’ bank accounts,” Singh said.