Context: If the electronic National Agricultural Market (eNAM) hasn’t over the last four years of its existence transformed the markets for farm goods and aided the farmers to reach the right buyers in a big way, the blame should be assigned to lack of logistic support in transporting the commodities from one state to another.
- eNAM has been reliant on the APMC mandis for physical infrastructure.
- Multi-state cooperative NAFED has developed a new model of e-Kisan mandis, where this lacuna is sought to be addressed.
- The country’s first e-kisan mandi became operational in Pune recently, led by NAFED’s arm Federation of Farmer Producer Organisations and Aggregators (FIFA).
- The idea is to roll out 100-odd such facilities over the next six to nine months across the country.
- According to the plan, the FPCs or other farmer groups will run the facility on NAFED-owned lands.
- Unlike e-NAM, which focuses on APMCs, the e-kisan mandis will seek to bring farmers, agri-producers, traders and small buyers on a common platform for trading agricultural commodities.
- An online electronic market will not work unless it is accompanied by proper physical infrastructure.
- NAFED would invest in setting up warehouses and cold storage at the e-kisan hubs in addition to providing drying, sorting and grading facilities.
- The e-Kisan mandi platform would not compete with but complement the physical markets.
- It would operate in a hub-and-spoke model, in which the NAFED-owned land will operate as a hub for the FPCs in the area; FPCs will collect the orders from the online platform and provide the service.
National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED)
- It was established in October 1958.
- It is registered under the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act.
- It was setup with the object to promote Co-operative marketing of agricultural produce to benefit the farmers.
- Agricultural farmers are the main members of NAFED, who have the authority to say in the form of members of the General Body in the working of NAFED.
- NAFED holds the Central Buffer of onions on behalf of the Union Government.
- To act as warehouseman under the Warehousing Act and own and construct its own godowns and cold storages;
- To act as agent of any Government agency or cooperative institution, for the purchase, sale, storage and distribution of agricultural, horticultural, forest and animal husbandry produce, wool, agricultural requisites and other consumer goods;
- To act as insurance agent and to undertake all such work which is incidental to the same;
- To undertake manufacture of agricultural, machinery and implements, processing, packing, etc. and other production requisites and consumer articles by setting up manufacturing units either directly or in collaboration with or as a joint venture with any other agency;
- To maintain transport units of its own or in collaboration with any other organization in India or abroad for movements of goods on land, sea, air and operate freight station, container depot and undertake other incidental activities;
- To subscribe to the share capital and undertake business collaboration with cooperative institutions, public, joint and private sector enterprises, if and when considered necessary for fulfilling the objectives of NAFED;
- To establish processing units for processing of agricultural, horticultural and forest produce, wool and allied products.