In a yet another first by the Government towards digitising India’s rural, the current PM Modi Government has launched a scheme to integrate 21 regulated wholesale markets — or mandis as they are more popularly known — into a single online platform.
The initiative will integrate the mandis under the National Agriculture Market. For those who are unaware of it, the NAM is an ambitious program of the Indian government that seeks to bring the benefits of an online platform, to one of the most important yet underrated sections of the society.
As per agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh,
On April 14, on the 125 birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launchthe e-trading platform — NAM — which proposes to integrate 585 regulated wholesale market or agriculture produce market committees (APMCs) under one electronic platform.
The initiative is certainly one of its kind and will have a whole bunch of advantages. Apart from letting farmers have access to a marketplace which will offer them the most competitive prices possible, consumers will be able to purchase stock, as and when required.
A single market would also serve to reduce transaction cost besides providing a single license that is valid across all markets. Also, assuming that any produce going to the platform would almost certainly have to undergo quality checks, a standard of quality would also be maintained.
Speaking on the topic, PM Modi said,
This scheme naturally benefits farmers but it also benefits other stakeholders and the consumers. This initiative will usher in transparency which will greatly benefit the farmer.
Adding that the initiative will also solve the issue of lack of an accurate, real time database on the status of farmers and their produce across various categories, in the country.
Of the 7,000 such markets available in virtually every city of the country, the initiative will begin by integrating 21 mandis from Gujarat, Telangana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh. Initially, castor seed, paddy, wheat, maize, turmeric, onion, mustard, mahua flower, tamarind and shelling pea are some of the products that will be traded on the platform.
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