Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said farm produce worth Rs 3,831 crore was traded through electronic-National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) till November 16 in 250 wholesale markets connected to this platform.
The e-NAM platform is designed to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.
“About 5.5 lakh farmers have sold their produce, while 54,000 traders have made purchases and 28,000 commission agents have registered themselves till about eight days before today,” said Singh in a statement.
He made this revelation after inaugurating an Assocham conference here on ‘Linking farmers with market’.
“We had started it on a pilot project basis and have tried to remove all the anomalies related to both hardware and software and it is now moving very fast towards empowering farmers to allow them to sell their produce,” said the Minister.
He said the Ministry was working towards setting up hub centres for providing milk, eggs, fruits, vegetables, flowers and other such things near metros as part of the online trading platform.
“Chinese capital has population twice as much that of Delhi but everything is available within a radius of 150 km, while in Delhi milk comes from Andhra Pradesh and vegetables from Kolkata,” Singh said.
“As such we are going to make provision under the mandi laws and we have conducted three-four meetings in NCR (National Capital Region) to make Gurgaon a hub for flowers, while Sonepat and Panipat would be made hub for vegetables and Karnal for indigenous cow’s milk and we are also in talks with Uttar Pradesh in this regard,” he said.
He also said laboratories were also being set up in electronic wholesale markets to check quality of the farmers’ produce in order to allow trade across the country.
“These facilities are already available within the states but now we are working towards making it feasible inter-state and the GST (goods and services tax) will play a significant role in this regard,” Singh said.
He said the government will also work towards improving the mandi laws and try to establish them in private sector by improving marketing related laws.
“We have made amendments in marketing related laws in about 22 states and licenses are being issued to set up mandis in the private sector,” said the Minister.
Meanwhile, Singh said the demonetisation move has not affected sowing of the Rabi crop.
“It is such a huge decision that some inconvenience being caused is quite natural. Opposition to demonetisation is equivalent to supporting black money, terrorism and fake currency, as such people should refrain from taking political benefit of this issue,” Singh said.