In a recent event, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has stated that the states should wind up agriculture produce marketing committees (APMCs) and join hands with the electronic national agriculture market (eNAM). eNAM, a Central Government initiative, is a PAN India electronic trading platform that is capable of replacing the outdated APMC platform.
Sitharaman mentioned eNAM during the 6th World Congress on Rural and Agriculture Finance. She said that APMC had outlived its utility; therefore, the union government has been pushing eNAM forward.
The Modi government is planning such that all 7,500 APMCs across the country together with the weekly and volatile bi-weekly markets are linked to eNAM, the central online commodities trading platform by FY22. In other words, eNAM will work similar to the online marketplace such as Amazon and Flipkart but provides opportunities for farmers to sell their produce directly, online.
eNAM is designated to connect with the existing APMC mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural produce. It acts as a single go-to place for all APMC-related information and services. Alongside, it provides a platform to buy and sell trade offers, commodity arrivals and prices, features that allow users to respond to trade offers, and more facilities.
Though the online platform was launched in April 2018, it has only seen 4% of the wholesale trade in farm commodities shifting to it. Lack of awareness regarding the platform could also be a reason for the low usage statistics of the platform. Therefore, the government has prioritised rural development and farmer concerns. It is strategising to form 10,000 farmer produce organisations.
The Finance Minister also expressed the ongoing concerns related to edible oil imports. She said that the government is trying to encourage oilseed production within the country rather than cultivating crops that have a high MSP. She also spoke about taking up measures of water management to handle the water stress.
Another announcement to be noted was the government’s move to distribute Kisan credit card and health cards to farmers. She marked the move as a reformatory step by the government in improving the lives of the farmers.
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