Updated 5:57 am, Jul 23, 2018

Punjab readies e-mandi for basmati, kinnow sale || SNE

By  The Tribune .
Jun 22, 2018

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The Punjab government plans to link 18 more mandis with the electronic trading portal ahead of the harvest season that would provide better bargaining power to basmati farmers and kinnow growers.

 

“While 16 mandis are set to join the electronic-National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) platform, detailed project reports for two others are under consideration,” a senior official of the Punjab Mandi Board said.

 

Prior to the portal, farmers were forced to sell their produce, especially non-MSP harvests, in their local markets at a price dictated by middlemen. The state government had already operationalised 19 mandis in March this year.

 

As of now, Punjab has permitted sale of seven commodities — basmati, maize, potato, kinnow, cotton, peas (green) and moong — to be traded on the virtual platform. Currently, 3,495 farmers, 3,323 commission agents and 533 traders of Punjab are registered under e-NAM.

 

Punjab is the latecomer in e-NAM platform compared to its neighbours such as Haryana and Himachal Pradesh because of inertia and arhtiya lobbies. Haryana and Himachal were among the 18 states and Union Territories to adopt e-NAM two years ago.

 

“The main focus of Haryana is on non-MSP crops where actual price discovery is possible. We are more focused on the mobile app-based trading and gate entries,” Haryana State Agriculture Marketing Board Chief Marketing Enforcement Officer Raj Kumar Beniwal said.

 

e-NAM is a Central government project to create a pan-India electronic trading portal that seeks to link existing Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) and other mandis in a unified national market for agricultural commodities.

 

The unified virtual platform provides a nationwide market to the farmer for a better price discovery. But, farmers of Punjab will not immediately avail this benefit in the absence of a dispute resolution mechanism. Meanwhile, farmers of the state can easily trade in any mandi linked with the electronic platform across the state. The platform enables farmers to sell their produce anywhere across the state without physically transporting it.

 

Earlier, legislation restricted farmers to sell in designated mandis only. Similarly, traders (commission agents) were required to obtain individual licence to operate in each mandi. Under the e-NAM platform, a single licence is required for the entire trading platform.

 

The early-mover Haryana implemented e-NAM from two markets, namely Karnal and Ellenabad from April 2016. The state has connected 54 APMC mandis with the platform. It traded 570.30 lakh quintals of agri produce valuing Rs 12,558 crore in 2017-18 with 21,34,942 farmers, 9,244 traders and 19,978 commission agents active on the virtual market.

 

Himachal Pradesh also implemented e-NAM on April 14, 2016 with two mandis. Now, it has linked 19 mandis of the state with the online platform. It is the only state where all horticulture produce (fruits and vegetables) are traded online, a state government official said. The state’s total volume of e-transaction in the previous fiscal year was 6.54 lakh quintals with a turnover of Rs 225.52 crore. Currently, 76,275 farmers, 1,872 traders and 1,094 commission agents are active in the platform.

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