National Agriculture Market What It Is

National Agriculture Market

What It Is

The National Agriculture Market is an e-platform on which farmers and traders can sell and buy farm produce. It promises to liberate farmers from the current constraints on agriculture marketing-and from their dependence on commission agents, who also serve as their financiers in some cases.

How it works

 

 

Brings

transparency
into the bidding
process

 

 

Enables
price discovery,
higher earnings
for farmers

Will integrate SBS regulated markets with the e-market by March 2018

 

 

Evolution of e-Marketing Platform for Agricultural Products

The policy planners realise the importance of agricultural sector for the growth and development of the nation’s economy. With nearly 58 per cent of its people continuing to depend upon agriculture for their livelihood, the critical role of the sector cannot be denied. Agriculture sector is also highly vulnerable to the vicissitudes of nature that impact the crop enterprise at its production stage. Further, the sector is also exposed to the current weaknesses of the agricultural marketing system. The annual income of a farmer depends upon both yield and the price that his produce fetches. Any programme of agricultural develop­ment, concentrating only on the single aspect of yield enhancement, can not produce desired result in
terms of doubling the income of farmers within a stipulated time without giving due diligence to the full return to the farmers for their total yield. While the Government has rolled out large number of pro­grammes to improve yield levels on a sustainable basis, it recognises the need for creating a competitive market structure in the country that will generate marketing efficiency. Only when the market is integrated over space and time, can market efficiency be realised.

Increasing the net returns of the farmer is paramount for the improve­ment in the well-being of thousands of small and marginal farmers whose interests are exploited by the power­ful lobby of middlemen. Hence, its emphasis is on creating an unified market, that is well-integrated across the nation. Following successive Budget announcements of 2014 and 2015 on setting up an ‘Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund’ and on ‘Unified National Agriculture Market’ res­pectively, the Department of Agri­culture & Cooperation has formula­ted the Central Sector scheme for Promotion of National Agriculture Market through Agri-Tech Infrastruc­ture Fund (ATIF) through provision of the common e-Platform.

The existing system of agricul­tural marketing has plethora of pro­blems and impediments for smooth functioning such as:

  • Fragmentation of State into multiple market areas, each administered by separate APMC,
  • Multiple levy of mandi fees,
  • Requirement for multiple license for trading in different APMCs,
  • Licensing barriers leading to conditions of monopoly,
  • Poor quality of infrastructure and low use of technology,
  • Information asymmetry, opaque process for price discovery,
  • High level of market charges,
  • Movement controls, etc.

APMCs were first established to provide an organised marketplace to farmers and to ensure against exploitation by unscrupulous buyers. However, they’re held to have played a role which is opposite to their stated objective, with their operations
invariably hidden from scrutiny. The management of most is in the hands of political parties, which have a cozy relationship with commission agents to form cartels.

The solution of all the above problems and the problems of farmers at the time of selling of their produce lies in the development of an unified market supported by latest information technology. The scheme envisages implementation of the National Agriculture Market by the Department of Agriculture & Coope- ration(DAC) through Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) by creation of a common electronic plat­form deployable in selected regulated markets across the country.