Addressed a gathering of farmers on the occasion, the Prime Minister said, "The initiative will usher in transparency that will greatly benefit the farmers."
"This is a turning point for the agriculture community and the agriculture sector has to be looked at holistically, and it is only then that maximum benefit of the farmer can be ensured," he added.
He also called for change in the sector according to global requirement to make the agri products more profitable, and asked farmers to adopt modern and scientific methods in farming to boost country's economy.
"The e-NAM is a pan-India e-trading portal to network existing APMC and other market yards to create a unified national market for agri commodities. The portal will provide a single window service for all APMC related information and services," he said.
The portal will connect e-mandis in several states and is aimed at ushering in much needed agri marketing reforms to enable farmers to get better price of their produce and double their income.
He said earlier farmers used to get to know rate of their crops only after reaching mandis, but now it enables them to know the rate of their crops and production even before they load it on a tractor or cart. He said laboratories will be established in mandis to check quality of the crops.
"Unfortunately, the country does not have real time data on agriculture production and these structures need to be changed. Even in many states there is no law on agriculture market," said the Prime Minister, urging the states to amend the APMC rules to facilitate farmers to take benefit of the scheme.
Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh said, "The Government is working hard for the welfare of the farmers, and launch of National Agriculture Market is a step in this direction."
"Twenty-one mandis in eight states have been linked to the National Agriculture Market today, while by September 2016 two hundred mandis will be included and by March 2018 five hundred eighty five mandis will be added to it. The Centre is very keen to accomplish the work as early as possible and if states cooperate it will be done one year ahead that is by March2017," he added.
Singh said, "The project will operate through an online portal, which is being linked to the mandis of the states. Its software will be provided to all the willing states free of cost. A knowledgeable person is being deployed for one year in every sharing mandi so as to facilitate the smooth functioning of the portal.
"Under this project, the Centre is providing a grant of Rs. 30 lakhs to the proposed agriculture mandis of the states. The farmers will be provided farmer helpline services round the clock for obtaining information related to this portal."
He said the Ministry of Agriculture has adopted a concept, 'Agriculture Development Tree'. "The ministry has initiated a number of projects for overall development of the farmers within the same tree. The government is taking all steps to double the farmers' income in the next five years," said the Agriculture Minister, adding that for the first time in India, "one nation and one market" is being developed and this market status will be elevated to the status of international market.