Agri Business

NERL opens repository accounts for farmers in Bihar

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on December 26, 2018 Published on December 26, 2018

Farmers opting for electronic warehouse receipts over physical ones, to avail of credit facilities

Digital platforms are gaining popularity among farmers keen to avail of credit facilities against warehouse receipts. In a latest, National E-Repository Ltd (NERL) - a repository that manages electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipts or eNWRs - has opened 16 Repository Accounts for Farmers in Samastipur, Bihar.

These accounts have been opened for produce, which will be stored in a WDRA registered warehouse in Samastipur, and managed by ERGOS Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a warehouseman, a statement said.

Farmers get the benefit of electronic book-entry holding of warehouse receipts for efficient transfers and pledging and easy and fast multiple transfers of electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipts (eNWR). Also, it brings standardisation of farm produce, grading, scientific warehousing, packaging and efficient logistics management, making it more rewarding for the farmers. Other benefits include efficient clearing, settlement and delivery of eNWRs on exchanges, transparency and traceability of transactions at every step and splitting of eNWRs to enable break-up and transfer of ownership and availing of finance.

Svakarma Finance Pvt. Ltd, an NBFC that supports agri and MSMEs, and a Repository Participant (Pledgee) with NERL, successfully pledged against eNWRs in December 2018. As of December, eNWRs have been generated in 10 states and 1 union territory.

Apart from depositors and farmers, eNWRs also bring an entire suite of benefits for all the value chain participants, including banks, warehousemen and traders.

Kishore Jha, CEO, ERGOS, is working closely with the farmers to on-board them through the company’s digital and offline platform, backed by a grid of rural, medium and micro warehouses at farm-gate across the geography, for storage, and forward linkages.

Kedar Deshpande, MD & CEO, National E-Repository Ltd said, "This is an honest effort towards making a difference in the lives of farmers by overcoming various challenges faced with physical receipts. We hope to empower farmers with a service that will help them manage their storage documents with ease and get better access to credit facilities."

Warehousemen are responsible for issuance of eNWR or eWR on the NERL platform and maintenance of its underlying commodity.

Meanwhile, banks or NBFCs can become repository participants (RP) with NERL as a pledgee or for account maintenance. RPs are expected to provide services in line with repository guidelines.

Since the company’s inception in September 2017, 77 farmers /FPOs (Farmer Producer Organisations) in India have opened accounts with NERL, where nine eNWRs have been generated in the names of farmers.

As of December 2018, over 230 private, central and state agri-warehouses have been using the NERL platform for generating eNWRs. The total eNWR/eWRs has crossed the 46,000-mark for over 3.5 lakh MT of quantity.

B.B. Pattanaik, Chairman, Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) said, "WDRA is constantly making efforts towards enhancing farmers’ income by scientific storage of their produce, avoiding distress sale and better price realisation at a later date."

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Published on December 26, 2018
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