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Private Mandis to be set up within farmers’ reach, says Singh

New Delhi: Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh Thursday here said that to make the income of the farmers double, the Government of India is trying to enhance the production of food grain, to reduce the cost, to find out the new means and ways for the incomes related to farmers and to give them better return of their produces in appropriate marketing system. Singh said this in a programme conducted by ASSOCHAM. The subject of the programme was how to link the farmers with the markets.

Singh said that the markets must be within the reach of the farmers and there must not be any middle man between them and the consumers. The prices of the yield should be discovered in a transparent way and the farmers must be paid the price of their yield without any delay. The Agriculture Minister added that the Central Government is raising such an infrastructure throughout the country through which the market will be linked directly with the farmers and the consumers will be capable to buy the agricultural products from the farms of the farmers directly.

Agriculture Minister further said that the farmers can sale their produces through online trading from anywhere and they can obtain better prices of their produces as per its quality. If farmer is not satisfied with the price, he can reject even the highest bid. Option of online payment system is also available to the farmers. The system which is known to us as e-NAM (National Agricultural Market) has been started on 14.04.2016. By the year 2018, total 585 mandis are proposed to be linked with e-NAM portal. By September, 2016, 250 mandis have been linked with e-NAM against a target of 200 mandis.

The states which have made 3 mandatory amendments to their APMC Act can join the e-NAM platform. The amendments are provision of e-trading, single point levy of mandi fee and single trading license valid throughout the states. Two major states Bihar and Kerala don’t have APMC Act at present and are not on the e-NAM portal. Government is persuading these states to create some regulatory mechanism in their states and join the e-NAM platform.

In addition to above, Government is promoting direct purchase/sale of farmers produce from the farm. So far, 22 states have amended their APMC Acts to enable this provision.

Singh said that the organized marketing of agricultural products in the country is carried through by regulated markets whose number is about 6746. As per the recommendations of the National Commission constituted on farmers, there should be a Mandi within the precincts of 80 square kilo meters. In the existing scenario, there is only one mandi within the reach of 580 square kilo meter. The present government is making endeavour to encourage set up of private mandis to improve reach of farmers to markets. So far, 21 states have amended their APMC Acts in this matter.