India plans to cover 250 agriculture mandis with a national e-platform by September next year to ensure free flow of agriculture produce from one market to another and save producers from multiple levies to make it available to consumers art reasonable prices, a government statement said.
It said the effort to develop a national agriculture market will eventually cover 585 mandis by March 2018.
The statement quoted Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh as telling members of a parliamentary committee that the government was actively working to usher in reforms of the Agri marketing system in the interests of farmers and consumers both.
The central government has urged the state governments to introduce e-market platform within the state to unify mandis of the state so that farmers are free to sell in any of the mandi. Department of Agriculture will provide free software and help in its customization for the states, the statement said.
The National Agriculture Market (NAM) would offer a common market place by providing real time prices on a national level to the participants of the agri Produce eco-systems. It would create an efficient trading system for agri-produce, which would enable transaction between buyers and sellers from their existing location thereby expending the existing market and also facilitating transactions in places where marks physically do not exist, over a period of time.
A new distribution channel for procurement and sale will come into existence, which would result in better price discovery for agro-produce, largely benefiting the frames. The prices reflected would be determined by demand and supply prevailing from time to time and shall be captured on real time basis, the minister said.
He said that the central government has kept Rs 175 crore to provide assistance of about Rs 30 lakh per mandi for the software and it has already approved financial assistance for Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh.