Agri Business

Turning the spotlight on market access infra

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on February 20, 2020 Published on February 20, 2020

Representational image only   -  THE HINDU

Getting farmers the right price for their produce is an issue that successive governments since Independence have grappled with. The failure of the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) to ensure free and fair trade at mandis, as highlighted by several studies, has compounded the problem. With agriculture falling under the State List, the progress on this front has been slow.

However, the introduction of the ‘electronic National Agriculture Market’ (eNAM) by the Centre in 2015, which it hoped will bring transparency and help farmers without disturbing the APMC framework was a significant initiative. Between 2015-16 and 2017-18, 585 mandis across the country were linked to one common platform.

Today, a total of 1.65 crore traders registered on eNAM are reaping the benefits. That said, the farmers still face many hiccups when it comes to marketing. For one, eNAM has not been implemented in all mandis across the country. This is because State governments, wary of annoying the commission agent and traders’ lobby, have not been supportive. Even in e-NAM mandis, inter-mandi and inter-State trade is yet to take off in a big way. The model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act has also not been adopted by many States. Farmers also face hurdles in selling directly to consumers outside the mandi or in contract farming.

 

 

 

As things stand today, farmers continue to be at the mercy of traders and commission agents. There is a pressing need to address the marketing issues faced by the farmers and ensure that he gets a higher share of every rupee a consumer spends. The BusinessLine Agri Summit scheduled to take place in Delhi on February 27 and 28 will deliberate on building the right market access infrastructure for farmers. Experts will brainstorm on ways to expand eNAM, unclog the bottleneck in agri marketing chain, and provide right market information and warehousing infrastructure that could boost farmers income.

Published on February 20, 2020
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