(IANS) The Centre has asked eastern Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand to participate in the Internet-based e-NAM (National Agriculture Market), Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Tuesday.
Southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and agrarian state Punjab too have been urged to participate in e-NAM or e-Mandi process “in the interest of the farmers” in their states, the minister said at a seminar on ‘Doubling of Farmers’ Income by 2022′, organised by Nabard on its 35th foundation day on Tuesday.
On April 14, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation an electronic trading platform, the national agriculture market — eNAM.
The e-NAM trading mechanism initially proposed to integrate 585 regulated wholesale markets or agricultural produce market committees (APMCs) on a single electronic platform within a couple of years.
The e-NAM mechanism seeks to allow farmers to sell their produce to the highest bidders and is aimed at integrating ‘mandis’ to help both farmers and buyers by providing them data on available produce, its quality and price offered in bidding markets, officials said.
It has initially integrated 21 mandis in eight states — Uttar Pradesh (6), Gujarat (3), Telangana (5), Rajasthan (1), Madhya Pradesh (1), Haryana (2), Jharkhand (1) and Himachal Pradesh (2).
The government also hopes to integrate at least 200 mandis by the end of 2016.
Launched with a budget allocation of Rs 200 crore, as many as 25 key commodities, including wheat, paddy, maize, onion, jowar, bajra, groundnut, potato, soyabean and mustard seed, have been selected for e-trading to start with.
The Agriculture Minister asked Nabard (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) to make its agriculture loan process easier along with its banking facilities so that they can grant the required loan on time.
“We should ensure that the process for applying for loan may be conducted online and agriculture loan should be provided within the scheduled time frame,” Singh said.
The minister said a long-term irrigation fund has been set up with a cluster fund of Rs 20,000 crore with the cooperation of Nabard so as to complete some of the larger irrigation projects.
The Modi government has provided financial help of Rs 10,225 crore to 10.49 lakh joint liability groups during the span of two years, he said while pointing out that the Congress-led UPA government had provided financial help of Rs 6,630 crore only to 6.7 lakh such clusters in seven years.
“To fulfil the loan needs of farmers, a target of Rs 9 lakh crore has been earmarked for 2016-17 and we hope it will be achieved,” Singh said.
He said the digitalisation process related to land records in most states has been completed for expeditious sanction of loans to farmers.
Every possible efforts is being made to double farmers income, he said adding that a committee under the chairmanship of Additional Secretary Ashok Dalwai has been set up in Ministry of Agriculture to chalk out a strategy in this matter, he added.