New Delhi: Ministry of Agriculture has initiated several steps to decongest wholesale markets & to boost the supply chains during the prevailing lockdown situation occurred due to COVID-19 pandemic. The National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) portal has been revamped by adding two (2) new modules viz., (a) warehouse based trading module and (b) Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) module. The warehouse based trading module enables farmers to sell their produce from Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) registered warehouses notified as deemed markets. The FPO trading module enables FPOs to upload their produce from collection centres with picture/ quality parameter for on-line bidding without physically reaching the mandis. So far FPOs from 12 States (Punjab, Odisha, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh & Jharkhand) have participated in the trade.
Advisory has been issued by this Ministry to all State Governments/UT to facilitate Direct Marketing from the farmers/ FPOs/ Cooperatives etc. by limiting regulation under State APMC Act. FPOs are also supplying vegetables in nearby cities and towns. All problems arising out of movement of goods and its trading are resolved on real time basis. States have already taken decision to issue passes/e-passes to FPOs.
e-NAM has become a tool for social distancing during lockdown. States are promoting virtual trading platform like e-NAM thereby reducing human intervention in handling of the produce and trading ensured through online mode from the places from where they are stored.
States like Jharkhand have initiated farm-gate trading through e-NAM platform whereby farmers are uploading the details of their produce along with picture for online bidding without reaching the APMC. Similarly, FPOs are also uploading their produce from their collection centers for trading under e-NAM.
Transportation of agricultural produce is critical and an indispensable component of supply chain. The Ministry launched “KISAN RATH”, a farmer friendly mobile application, to facilitate farmers & traders in searching vehicles for Primary and Secondary transportation of Agriculture & Horticulture produce. Primary transportation includes movement of goods from Farms to Mandis, FPO centres, Village Haats / GrAMs, Railway Stations and Warehouses. Secondary Transportation includes movement of goods from Mandis to Intra-state & Inter-state mandis, Processing units, Railway Stations, Intra-state and Inter-state Warehouses and Wholesalers etc. This will ensure smooth and seamless supply linkages between Farmers, Warehouses, FPOs, APMC mandis and intra-state & inter-state buyers along with competitive transport prices and help in reduction of food wastage by providing timely services. These all will contribute in better price realization for perishable commodities. KISAN RATH Application is designed for the users of both e-NAM and non-e-NAM mandis.
Module of Uberisation of logistics aggregators has been recently launched on e-NAM platform. This will help traders to find out transporters available in their vicinity for faster movement of farm produce from mandis to various other locations. More than 11.37 lakh trucks & 2.3 lakh transporters are already linked to this module.
Government has already taken decision to free inter-state movement of carriages (vehicles) carrying essential commodities. The Ministry, in coordination with State Agricultural Marketing Boards, is operationalizing inter-state movement of fruits & vegetables round the clock. The Government is closely monitoring the functioning of fruits and vegetable markets and also the Farmer-Consumer Markets without compromising on precautionary measures.
Ministry is in touch with Maharashtra mandi board for supply of onions from the production areas of Maharashtra to other States. Currently, the APMCs under Nashik District are sending on an average 300 trucks daily to various parts of the country viz., Delhi, Haryana, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Kolkata, J&K, Karnataka, Odisha, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh etc. on a regular basis.
A separate cell has also been constituted for monitoring supply and prices of essential goods and fruits & vegetables along with inter-state movement for Northeast Region.