As the much-talked about electronic National Agriculture Market
(e-NaM) struggles to create a common market for farmers due to both inter-state and intra-state rigidities, the Centre is planning to direct state governments to depute dedicated officers to oversee the roll-out of the programme.
These officers will work as a team with their counterparts in the central government and will also to ensure that at least inter-mandi transactions within a state are made hassle-free to make the state a common market in the first place.
That apart, the Centre also wanted the e-NaM to function as efficiently as the stock market in the next few years, senior officials present at a review meeting of the programme said.
The review was conducted to assess the progress of the scheme, which has been billed as one of the big farm marketing reform measures of the present government.
Under e-NaM, the Centre, according to a written reply in Parliament in July, had managed to integrate 455 markets in 13 states.
India has over 2,477 principal mandis
and 4,843 sub-markets created by the APMCs.
The programme was launched on April 14, 2016, with an objective to link 585 regulated markets across the country by March 2018.
For this, the Centre provides financial assistance of Rs 30 lakh per market. This was enhanced to Rs 5 lakh per mandi in the Union Budget for 2017-18.
In addition to the software, an analyst is also provided to each mandi for a year.
Many states have been reluctant to modify their APMC Acts, which has made the concept of a common market redundant.
Economist Ashok Gulati in a recent article said that for transactions to take place across mandis
and states through, much more was needed than installing software.
“It needs assaying, grading, sorting, storing, delivering, and settling disputes with respect to each transaction. Despite a good concept, creation of an all-India spot market for farmers is still at least five years away, if not more,” Gulati wrote.