The Indian government, which plans to launch an e-market platform for agriculture produce on a pilot basis next month, said 200 regulated markets will be integrated with the new platform by September.
The National Agriculture Market (NAM) platform will eventually integrate 585 regulated market by March 2018, junior agriculture minister Mohanbhai Kundaria told parliament.
The government announced the setting up of NAM through Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund last year with a budget of Rs 200 crore.
Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) will implement the national e-platform in 585 selected regulated markets and will cover 400 mandis in 2016-17 and 185 mandis in 2017-18, the minister said in a written reply.
Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) will meet expenses on software and its customisation for the states and provide it free of cost to the states and union territories.
Integration of regulated markets with NAM requires certain pre-requisites in the State Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Acts, namely- (i) a single license to be valid across the State, (ii) single point levy of market fee and (iii) provision for electronic auction as a mode for price discovery. Only those States/UTs that fulfil these conditions will be eligible for assistance under the scheme.