Karnataka, the first state to initiate reforms in the marketing of agricultural products, refused to join the national platform promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture – the National Electronic Agriculture Market (eNAM) citing the lack of progress in allowing interstate commerce, the smooth flow of goods across the country, and the development of uniform physical parameters for trade in commodities.
A special purpose vehicle in joint venture – Rashtriya eMarket Services Private (ReMS) between the government of Karnataka and NCDEX Spot, which had electronically linked the 157 mandis of the southern state, had reported a turnover of Rs 37,000 crore in 2016-17 while 244 odd mandis across 13 states linked via eNAM have so far achieved a turnover of Rs 28,250 crore since its launch in April 2016.
Stating that Karnataka has allowed traders from at least seven states including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Kerala to purchase commodities on all related mandis through the Unified Market Platform , Manoj Rajan, managing director and CEO of ReMS, told FE that there was no “reciprocity” by other states to grant licenses to outside traders, thus depriving farmers of the ” discovery of real prices ”.
ReMS provides an electronic permit that facilitates the movement of goods – pulses, oilseeds, copra, grains within the state, replacing the manual permit system. The permit allows the 157 markets of Karnataka to update their stock and generate electronic permits from the UMP.
Over 48 lakh farmers have been registered with ReMS and their bank details have been uploaded to ensure prompt payment. Karnataka APMCs charge 1.5% mandi fee and 2% arthia or commission agent fee for each transaction made at mandis by traders through ReMS, while they charge 0.1% fee transaction.
“There are still many obstacles in the interstate movement of agricultural products in addition to the standardized physical parameters for goods to be traded through eNAM has not yet been developed and primary processing at the mandi level is still lacking. “Rajan said.
“Until eNAM facilitates interstate commerce and buyers from one state are allowed to trade in other states, we see no reason to join an electronic marketing platform at this time when a certain many reforms need to be initiated before a pan-Indian agricultural platform becomes a reality, ”he said.
About 17 wholesale institutional buyers such as Cargill, ITC, Reliance, Godrej Agro and Metro Cash & Carry have registered with ReMS and testing facilities in each of the Karnataka mandi are being provided on a phased basis.
However, in the case of eNAM, Haryana (14,182 crore) and Telangana (Rs 7,064 crore) hold two-thirds of the total turnover of 28,000 crore so far and most of the trade in agricultural products. take place in the premises of mandi. leave aside interstate commerce.
Only 52 lakh farmers – out of about 14 crore in the country – and 97,000 traders and 51,000 commission agents have registered with eNAM.