The Agriculture Ministry is looking to launch the electronic national agriculture market (e-NAM) 2.0 by the end of November by amending the guidelines to increase participation of both buyers and sellers. This will set the tone for the much-required reforms, said Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja.

Addressing a day-long workshop on “e-NAM 2.0 and agriculture marketing reforms,” Ahuja said, “a lot many points were made (by speakers). It is up to us to do that.” He advised officials to work out solutions which can be converted to reality.

Faiz Ahmed Kidwai, Additional Secretary (marketing division) in the Agriculture Ministry, said e-NAM 2.0 will be an advanced version of the existing version, wherein the reforms in the State APMC Act will determine its success.

Calling for the participation of more number of buyers and sellers on e-NAM, he said this objective can be achieved only by ease of doing business. He cited the example of Amazon and queried why buyers use that platform. “One important aspect of enlisting buyers and sellers’ interest in a trading platform like e-NAM is information. While buyers are concerned about quality of the produce they are buying, farmers are interested to know the right price for the produce they want to sell,” Ahuja said and suggested that while devising the module of e-NAM 2.0, these aspects must be taken into account.

‘Curbs add costs’

The Agriculture Secretary advised States not to create artificial boundaries in the name of regulations as such measures in the end add to the cost. He cited the Farmgate App of Madhya Pradesh and said it is the way forward as any farmer will first try to sell his/her produce at the doorstep if there is a suitable option available.

Ahuja also pointed out that there is a “world of difference” between mandi prices shown on Agmarknet portal and e-NAM. “A good market (e-NAM), which captures prices, will not have this kind of difference. This means the trade are not being captured online, somebody is putting this number subsequently. This defeats the very purpose of e-NAM,” he said.

Speaking to businessline Maninder Kaur Dwivedi, managing director of Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), which manages e-NAM portal, said many things will be gradually incorporated in the next version and the feedbacks received from stakeholders would be considered on merits and accepted.