Of the 306 Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in the State, 118 have connected with e-NAM, a pan-India electronic trading portal which is a device to connect existing physical APMC mandis that can be accessed online.

While online gate entry and e-auction have been started in all APMCs, e-payment is functional in only 67 APMCs. The state has 623 subyards spread across the districts.

Also read: Converging eNAM network with private mandis

Last year till November 2020, 13 lakh MT of grains worth ₹3,850 crore were e-auctioned and ₹98.56 crore in e-payment done. Every year over 200 lakh MT agri produce worth between ₹45,000 crore and ₹56,000 crore arrives in APMC mandis.

“e-NAM has not reached a majority of farmers. Physical trade continues to dominate compared to the trade that is happening in APMCs. Small and marginal farmers continue to depend on APMCs. Deliberate efforts must be made to introduce farmers to e-NAM,” said farmer Baba Pawar, adding APMCs have developed an ecosystem and farmers are used to the operations of APMCs.

Maharashtra Farmers Producer Company (MahaFPC), a consortium of about 400 FPCs in the State, is working with farmers to convince them to opt for an alternative marketing system. According to MahaFPC officials, farmers are slowly but steadily tapping alternatives.

Also read: Why Maharashtra farmers are selling outside APMC markets

“Established APMCs provide the infrastructure for the sale of agricultural produce so that farmers get adequate price for their agricultural produce and are protected from exploitation by traders and middlemen by offering low prices,” the State Economic Survey 2020-21 released on Friday said.

The Central government is insisting that farmers and traders should join e-NAM as it promotes uniformity in agriculture marketing by streamlining procedures across integrated markets, removing information asymmetry between buyers and sellers and promoting real-time price discovery based on actual demand and supply. The Centre wants to integrate APMCs across the country through a common online market platform to facilitate pan-India trade in agriculture commodities.