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MNI Platform: Expert Panel Urges Implementation of Legal Framework

With the government's continued focus on agricultural market reforms and the adoption of digital platforms like e-NAM and MNI, the Indian agricultural sector is poised for transformation.

Shivam Dwivedi
MNI Platform: Expert Panel Urges Implementation of Legal Framework (Photo Source: Pixabay)
MNI Platform: Expert Panel Urges Implementation of Legal Framework (Photo Source: Pixabay)

The Indian government has consistently shown its support for bolstering Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) by embracing digital technologies to enhance transparency and competitiveness. With this objective in mind, the government has been working on the National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) initiative, which has made significant strides since its launch in April 2016.

As of July 3, 2023, the e-NAM platform has successfully integrated 1361 Mandis across 23 states and 4 Union Territories. Remarkably, over 1.75 crore farmers and 2.45 lakh traders have registered on the e-NAM portal. The platform has facilitated a total trade volume of 7.97 crore metric tons and 25.82 crore units (including commodities like bamboo, betel leaves, coconut, lemon, and sweet corn), with a collective trade value of approximately Rs. 2.79 lakh crore.

The achievements of the e-NAM platform in the agricultural marketing sector have been groundbreaking. While 1361 regulated markets are now part of the e-NAM platform, it has become evident that there is a need to facilitate competitive pricing for surplus farmer produce through inter-mandi and inter-state trade. To address this, a concerted intervention is necessary to create an efficient and seamless marketing system across India, promoting quality-based trading and transparent price discovery mechanisms for inter-mandi and inter-state trade.

In line with its commitment to policy reforms and the vision of enhancing the producers' share in the end consumer price, the Government of India established a high-level Expert Committee on April 21, 2023. This committee, chaired by Dr. Manoj Rajan, Special Secretary (Agriculture) of the Government of Karnataka, includes representatives from the State Agri Marketing Boards of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Telangana, Odisha, and Bihar.

Additionally, members from the Directorate of Agriculture Marketing, Department of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, Government of India, Deputy Agricultural Marketing Advisor, Department of Marketing and Inspection, representatives from the Small Farmers' Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC), and the strategic partner for e-NAM have also joined the committee. The committee has been tasked with recommending the framework for the implementation of the Market Yard of National Importance (MNI).

On July 4, 2023, the chairperson of the Expert Committee submitted a report outlining the framework for the MNI platform. The committee's recommendations include the implementation framework for the MNI-P platform, legal framework, inter-state reciprocity of licenses and movement, dispute resolution mechanisms, and a rollout strategy.

This platform aims to provide farmers from participating states with the opportunity to sell their surplus produce beyond their state boundaries. By leveraging the expertise of various segments within the agricultural value chain, this digital ecosystem will help foster growth and efficiency.

These initiatives will not only benefit farmers but also contribute to the overall development and modernization of the agricultural economy, ensuring a more sustainable and inclusive future for Indian agriculture.

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