The National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Scheme is a central sector scheme launched on April 14, 2016 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. The Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) is the nodal agency and the iKisan division of Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited (NFCL) is the technology provider for the e-NAM platform. The scheme aims to promote uniformity in agriculture marketing by streamlining the procedures across integrated markets, removing information asymmetry between buyers and sellers and promoting real-time price discovery based on actual demand and supply.
National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) is a pan-India electronic trading portal that networks existing Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities. The e-NAM platform aims to promote better marketing opportunities for farmers to sell their produce through an online competitive and transparent price discovery system and online payment facility. The program’s goals include integrating markets, initially at the level of the States and eventually at the national level; streamlining marketing and transaction processes; encouraging better marketing opportunities for farmers; establishing quality assaying systems; and promoting stable prices and consumer access to high-quality produce. The scheme components include the selection of State’s/UT’s APMCs/RMCs, provision of e-NAM software to States/UTs free of cost, financial assistance and technical assistance.
Features of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Scheme:
- Electronic trading portal: The platform uses technology to enable seamless trading of agricultural produce among different states, allowing farmers to sell their produce to buyers from other states, thereby increasing their market reach.
- Single window services: The e-NAM platform provides a single window for all APMC related information and services, making it easier for farmers to access the information they need. It provides real-time information on commodity arrivals, quality and prices, buy and sell offers and e-payment settlement directly into farmers’ accounts, thereby reducing the hassle of dealing with multiple parties for different services.
- Uniform marketing procedures: The scheme aims to streamline marketing and transaction procedures and make them uniform across all markets to promote efficient functioning of the markets. This helps to ensure that all farmers and buyers have a level playing field and reduces the scope for malpractices.
- Quality assurance: The e-NAM platform aims to establish quality assaying systems to promote informed bidding by buyers. This helps to ensure that buyers are aware of the quality of the produce they are buying and farmers are incentivized to produce better quality crops.
- Better marketing opportunities for farmers: By removing information asymmetry between farmers and traders, improving real-time price discovery based on actual demand and supply of agri-commodities, transparency in the auction process, prices commensurate with quality of produce, online payment, etc., the e-NAM platform aims to promote better marketing opportunities for farmers/sellers. As a result, farmers receive higher prices for their produce and rely less on middlemen.
- Financial support: The programme offers financial support to the State or UT for certain APMCs or RMCs, up to a maximum of Rs. 30.00 lakhs per market, to help with the costs of purchasing hardware, five internet connections, assaying equipment, and other necessary infrastructure to prepare the market for integration with the e-NAM platform.
- Technical assistance: The scheme provides technical assistance through Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), the Lead Implementing Agency (LIA) and Strategic Partner (SP) Nagarjuna Fertilizers & Chemicals Ltd. (NFCL) for implementation of the e-NAM platform. This helps to ensure that all stakeholders are trained and equipped to use the platform effectively, thereby increasing its adoption and impact.
Latest News about the Scheme:
According to the latest data from the Press Information Bureau portal in December 2022, the e-NAM platform has integrated with 1260 mandis across 22 states and 3 Union Territories. This integration has facilitated the trading of various agricultural commodities. The total volume of these commodities, which includes bamboo, betel leaves, coconut, lemon, and sweet corn, is worth approximately Rs. 2.22 lakh crore of trade that has been recorded on the e-NAM platform.
Benefits of the Scheme:
The benefits of the National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Scheme are as follows:
- Farmers can sell their produce through an online platform with competitive and transparent price discovery system
- Farmers gain access to multiple markets and buyers through digital channels
- Uniformity in agriculture marketing is promoted through streamlining of procedures across integrated markets
- Information asymmetry between buyers and sellers is eliminated
- Real-time price discovery is promoted based on actual demand and supply
- Online payment settlement is made directly into farmers’ accounts
- Limited reach: The e-NAM platform is only available in the markets that are integrated with the platform.
- Limited crop coverage: Although the platform supports trading of multiple crops, the range of crops traded on the platform is still limited and many crops are still not covered.
- Dependence on infrastructure: The success of the e-NAM platform depends on the availability of necessary infrastructure, including hardware, internet connections and assaying equipment, which may be a challenge in some areas.
- Lack of awareness: Many farmers are still not aware of the e-NAM platform and its benefits, which limits its reach and potential impact.
How to Apply:
- Step 1: The farmer must register on the e-NAM portal by providing the required details such as name, address, contact details and bank account details.
- Step 2: After registration, the farmer can list their produce for sale on the e-NAM portal.
- Step 3: Interested buyers can view the listed produce and place bids on them.
- Step 4: The farmer can choose to accept or reject the bid.
- Step 5: If the bid is accepted, the payment is made online and directly into the farmer’s account.
- Step 6: The farmer can then deliver the produce to the buyer.
The documents required to apply for the National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Scheme are mentioned below:
- Aadhaar card
- PAN card
- Bank account details
- Land ownership documents
In conclusion, the e-NAM scheme has been instrumental in promoting uniformity in agriculture marketing and creating a unified national market for agricultural commodities. The scheme has enabled farmers to sell their produce through an online competitive and transparent price discovery system and online payment facilities, benefiting all the stakeholders, including farmers, mandis, traders, buyers, processors and exporters. The scheme has also reduced transaction costs, increased accessibility to markets and enhanced price realization for farmers. The e-NAM platform is a significant step towards transforming the agricultural sector in India and achieving the goal of doubling farmers’ income.