India released an electronic trading platform for village farmers on Thursday to improve visibility in general marketplaces and help village farmers bring better prices for their product.
PM Narendra Modi, inaugurating the system, said it would trade products from 365 general marketplaces initially but is designed to increase that to 585 by March 2018.
“This effort will guide in visibility which will greatly benefit the cultivator,” PM Modi said. “This plan naturally advantages village farmers, but it also advantages other stakeholders and consumers.”
Analysts have accepted the new system but say it has limitations. For example, India has 7,000 general marketplaces and only 8 percent of them will use the trading platform.
A law, going back more than 50 years, had specified that village farmers must offer their products at controlled general marketplaces, where a solid system of the auction by cartels of traders leaves village farmers with little negotiating power.
The Agriculture Produce Marketing Panel (APMC) Act was initially introduced to protect village farmers from rich property farmers. But it led to the creation of a layer of middlemen in these marketplaces, who take a significant cut, starving village farmers of a better price and also bolstering the price of village products.
The National Agriculture Market (eNAM) will allow village farmers to monitor the price of merchandise, evaluate demand and gain easier accessibility to marketplaces in other parts of the nation, which will boost competition and eliminate middlemen.
“This will encourage the village farmers who will now decide when, where and at what price they recycle for cash their products in any part of the country,” the PM said at the release in New Delhi.
The eNAM system currently lists 23 products and combines 21 Agriculture marketplaces across eight India declares. It plans to consist of over 400 marketplaces by next Goal and 585 marketplaces across India by March 2018.
The PM said eNAM will also help the federal govt meet its target of increasing farmers’ income in the next five decades.
In Feb, the federal govt promised to spend enormous amounts of dollars to help struggling village farmers through various measures, such as a crop insurance scheme and better accessibility to marketplaces.
Even big suppliers like Dependency Sectors, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Shoppers’ Stop and The British Tesco Plc are required to obtain products from such controlled marketplaces.
Since taking office in May 2014, PM Modi has advised Indian states s to change the APMC Act to accomplish the online trading of crops. However, eight of India’s 29 states have not decided to follow digital trading, which means that village farmers in those states will lose out.
While village farmers can currently accessibility marketplaces outside their own region, many are discouraged from doing so because of inter-state charges and inconsistent regulations.
India is now the world’s fastest-growing major economy, but two decades of famine and a failure to create jobs for a growing young population has left millions of non-urban citizens having difficulties.
Initially, 25 products such as grain, maize, wheat, oilseeds and a few other vegetables and spices or herbs will be traded on the system.
The 21 states that have decided to connect their general marketplaces to the e-platform consist of key Agriculture declares Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Gujarat.