Maharashtra became the third state in the country to electronically transfer Rs 100 crore worth of payment to farmers trading on the electronic platform of the National Agriculture Market (eNAM). Since 2016, a total of 118 wholesale markets in the state have registered on the eNAM platform.
Since its introduction in 2016, Maharashtra has been one of the leading states in bringing agricultural trade on the electronic platform. The 118 agricultural markets in the state have set up infrastructure like electronic gate entry, assaying labs, sale agreement and methods to electronically settle payment for farmers.
A press statement issued by the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) stated that 678 traders at 78 markets in the state have electronically transferred Rs 106.34 crore to 11,404 farmers in the state. The Vani wholesale market has seen the highest electronic transfer of funds worth Rs 72.50 crore.
While eNAM envisions complete electronic transfer of payments, in reality only around 10-15 per cent of the trade is so settled. The need for ready cash on part of the farmers and lack of proper infrastructure to make such payments are some of the reasons hindering the process. Officers of the MSAMB said the electronic transfer of funds has remained a point of contention.
In Maharashtra, farmers are paid by the commission agents, who act as their representatives during an auction. The traders pay the commission agents who transfer the payment to farmers after deducting their commission. However, the eNAM platform only allows the transfer of money by the final purchaser, so in many cases, these transactions are not able to be brought on the platform.
Since its inception, Maharashtra has seen trading of 150 lakh quintals of agricultural commodities worth Rs 4,556 crore on the eNAM platform.
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