Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday launched integration of 117 additional wholesale mandis with the electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) platform, taking the total number of online mandis to 962 across the country.

The additional mandis integrated with eNAM platform include Gujarat (17), Haryana (26), J&K (1), Kerala (5), Maharashtra (54), Odisha (15), Punjab (17), Rajasthan (25), Tamil Nadu (13) and West Bengal (1), an official statement said.

Right now, farmers auction their agriculture produce at 6,900-odd APMC (Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees) mandis spread across the nation. Some agriculturists are also using online bidding through e-NAM platform.

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200 mandis join eNAM platform

Launching the new mandis through video conferencing, Tomar said efforts should be made to strengthen eNAM further to benefit the farmers.

Integration of APMC mandis with eNAM will strengthen and facilitate farmers to sell their harvested produce through the online portal, he said.

The target is to integrate 1,000 mandis before May 15.

More mandis are being integrated in the current COVID-19 situation as the e-NAM platform provides a distant bidding facility for wholesale produce in APMC mandis without physical presence of buyer/trader near the auction site for bidding.

The electronic platform also provides an e-payment facility through which traders can pay farmers after the trade is executed from anywhere, be it home or office, without going to banks, thus avoiding crowd.

To decongest mandis during COVID-19 lockdown situation, the government has launched new features on the eNAM platform, enabling direct trading from warehouses as well as collection centres of farmers producers organisations (FPOs), besides logistics support.

According to the ministry, as many as 1.66 crore farmers, 1.30 lakh traders and 71,911 commission agents are using e-NAM platform.

Commodities, worth over Rs 1 lakh crore, have been traded on the e-NAM as on May 9 this year. The volumes of trade stood at 3.43 crore tonnes and 37.93 lakh bamboo and coconuts.

That apart, digital payments worth Rs 708 crore were made through the eNAM platform, benefitting more than 1.25 lakh farmers.

A total of 236 mandis participated in inter-mandi trade across 12 states, whereas 13 states/UTs have participated in the trade, allowing farmers to interact directly with distantly located traders.

At present, 150 commodities, including foodgrains, oilseeds, fibers, vegetables and fruits, are being traded on eNAM. More than 1,005 FPOs have been registered on eNAM platform and have traded 2,900 tonnes of agri-produce worth Rs 7.92 crores.