The Indian government’s electronic–National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) platform has captured the attention of the farmer producer organisations (FPOs) particularly after a separate module was launched to exclusively facilitate their trade. As a result, the traded volume increased to about 42,875 tonnes during the 2023-24 fiscal, nearly double from about 21,540 tonnes in 2023-23.

Though it is negligible considering the total volume on the platform recording nearly 195 lakh tonnes, the Government is hopeful of a similar surge every year due to a low base effect as well as various initiatives launched for the FPOs and e-NAM. As much as 3,759 FPOs are already registered with e-NAM, so far while the government targets to ensure all got registered.

“Once the inter-state trade is made free from state control through a law, FPOs will have a major role to play on the e-NAM platform since several of them are also promoted by corporates,” a source said, adding the growth potential is unlimited due to low base effect. Besides, there are also several other avenues opening up for FPOs in the private sector to sell their produce in bulk at better rates, the source said.

ITC’s agtech platform

Announcing the financial results for Q4 2023-24, ITC on Thursday said that over 1,650 FPOs encompassing more than 1.5 million farmers have been added to the ITCMAARS network. It said the company has successfully scaled up ITCMAARS, a crop-agnostic full stack agtech platform, together with a “phygital” ecosystem across 10 States.

“By synergistically integrating NextGen agri technologies, this initiative is creating a robust ecosystem to seamlessly deliver hyperlocal and personalised solutions to the farming community, while creating new and scalable revenue streams, strengthening sourcing efficiencies and powering the Company’s world-class Indian brands,” ITC said.

Meanwhile, e-NAM’s trade volume has registered 4 per cent growth to 194.29 lakh tonnes (lt) in FY24 from 186 lt in FY23. In value term, the digital trade was over Rs 78,424 crore in FY24, up 5 per cent from Rs 74,656 crore in FY23. There was 124 per cent growth in last five years as the total transactions were to the tune of Rs 34,940 crore in 2019-20.

Independent body on cards

The e-NAM platform allows online trading in 219 agricultural, horticultural and other commodities notified by both Centre and State governments.

The Centre is considering to enact a farm law that will take care of inter-state trading and help farmers sell their produce online at distant places, outside their state boundary. The plan is to set up an independent regulatory authority to frame rules and regulations, including fees, for facilitating all inter-state trading. However, the trade within the State will be untouched and the local government will have complete control over it, sources said.