More than 11.37 lakh trucks and 2.3 lakh transporters have registered on the electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) platform to ensure faster movement of farm produce from mandis to other locations during the COVID-19 induced lockdown, the Union Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday.
They have registered under the module of Uberisation of logistics aggregators, recently launched on e-NAM platform to help traders find out transporters in their vicinity for quick movement of the supplies from the mandis, it said.
"More than 11.37 lakh trucks and 2.3 lakh transporters are already linked to this module," the ministry said in a statement.
At present, 585 mandis (agri-markets) across 16 states and two union territories have been integrated on e-NAM platform, with a user base of 16.6 million farmers, 1,28,000 traders and 70,934 commission agents.
The ministry also said that it has launched a mobile app called 'Kisan Rath' to help farmers provide transportation facility for movement of produce from farm to mandis during the lockdown period.
The mobile app has been designed for users of both e-NAM and non-e-NAM platforms.
To reduce crowd in mandis during the lockdown period, the ministry is encouraging farmers to use e-NAM platform, for which two additional features were added recently.
One of the feature is a warehouse-based trading module that enables farmers to sell their produce from the Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA)-registered warehouses notified as deemed markets.
The other trading module enables farmer producer organisations (FPOs) to upload their produce from collection centres with picture/quality parameters for online bidding without physically reaching the mandis.
"So far, FPOs from 12 states (Punjab, Odisha, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh & Jharkhand) have participated in the trade," the ministry said.
Stating that e-NAM has become a tool for social distancing during lockdown, the ministry said that states are promoting virtual trading platforms like e-NAM thereby reducing human intervention in handling of the produce.
States like Jharkhand have initiated farm-gate trading through e-NAM platform whereby farmers are uploading the details of their produce along with picture for online bidding without reaching the APMC.
Similarly, FPOs are also uploading their produce from their collection centers for trading under e-NAM, it said.
Besides, an advisory has been issued to the state governments to encourage farmers, FPOs and cooperatives for direct marketing of their produce by limiting regulation under APMC Act.
As a result, FPOs are also supplying vegetables in nearby cities and towns. States have already taken decision to issue passes/e-passes to FPOs.
On movement of fruits and vegetable produce to mandis, the ministry said it has operationalised inter-state transportation of fruits and vegetables round the clock after coordination with the state mandi boards.
"The government is closely monitoring the functioning of fruits and vegetable markets and also the farmer-consumer markets without compromising on precautionary measures, " it said.
Regarding transportation of onion, the ministry said it is in touch with Maharashtra, the key producer of the bulb crop, for smooth movement of the produce to consuming states.
Currently, APMCs under Nashik district are sending on an average 300 trucks daily to various states like Delhi, Haryana, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Kolkata, J&K, Karnataka, Odisha, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, among others.
A separate cell has also been constituted for monitoring supply and prices of essential goods and fruits and vegetables along with inter-state movement for Northeast Region, the ministry added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)