Created with the motive to provide farmers with an online platform to sell their produce & thus help them get better prices, electronic National Agriculture Markets or e-NAMs, have turned out to be a great success. The concept was launched in April on a pilot basis when 22 mandis were linked to this platform. Currently, 250 mandis in 10 states have been linked to it.
According to officials from the agriculture ministry, till December 16 farm produce worth Rs. 6.14 lakh crore has been traded through e-NAMs. About 8,55,000 farmers have sold their produce with the total traded quantity being 31.13 lakh tonnes, with 59,155 traders having made the purchases. The number of commission agents that have been registered on e-NAM are 30,790.
The government aims at integrating 585 markets by March 2018 out of which 400 will become e-mandis by next year. Also, the government will enable interstate trading on e-NAM by March 2018. This will give an even bigger boost to farmers as they will be able to sell their produce outside their states at desirable prices, & it also expands their potential customer base.
Amidst all this, the government hasn’t forgotten the quality aspect. As of now quality parameters for 69 commodities including cereals, pulses, oil seeds, spices, fruits & vegetables have been notified for trading. Technology is being used to determine aspects such as moisture levels & crop sizes which is eliminating the dependence on traders in such matters. Even laboratories are being set up in these wholesale markets to check the quality of the produce.
As per recommendations of a national commission on farmers there should be a mandi in every 80 square kilometres whereas currently there exists only one mandi within 580 square kilometres.
Prime Minister Modi has said that he aims to double the incomes of farmers by 2022. This is a most ambitious task he’s set for himself as for 70 years’ farmers needs have been neglected, & as a result farmer suicides have been extensive. But through such ground-breaking measures, & others like providing soil-health cards, establishing a network of drip irrigation, giving farmers better insurance cover, etc. he is making every effort not only to help farmers deal with traditional problems but even raise their standard of living.