NAM is an online platform with a physical market or mandi at the backend. NAM is not a parallel marketing structure but rather an instrument to create a national network of physical mandis which can be accessed online. NAM seeks to leverage the physical infrastructure of mandis through an online trading portal, enabling buyers situated even outside the state to participate in trading at the local level. The electronic platform under NAM is being created through special software developed by the agriculture ministry and the same is provided to each mandi—which agrees to come on board—free of cost. The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation will meet expenses on software and its customisation for the States and UTs and provide it free of cost to them. DAC will also give grant as one time fixed cost subject to the ceiling of ? 30.00 lakhs per Mandi (other than for the private mandis) for related equipment/infrastructure in 585 regulated mandis, for installation of the e-Market platform. Provisions are also being made for establishing soil testing laboratories in the Mandis.
NAM will increase the choice for a farmer after he brings in his produce to a mandi. Local traders can bid for the produce, as also traders on the electronic platform sitting in other states. The farmer may choose to accept either the local offer or online. In either case, the transaction will be on the books of the local mandi and they will continue to earn the transaction fee. With more mandis coming onto the NAM platform, the volume of business will significantly increase, as there will be greater competition for specific produce, resulting in higher transaction fees for a mandi. The gradual integration of all major mandis into NAM e-Platform would ensure common procedures for issue of licences, levy of fee and movement of produce. NAM will also facilitate the emergence of integrated value chains in major agricultural commodities across the country and help promote scientific storage and movement of agri goods. Farmers can sell their produce on the e-Platform after having its quality graded by recognised assayers. As the trade is executed, farmers are paid money financed by network banks. When after settlement money is paid by the buyer, the bank money is settled.