In what could potentially transform marketing of crops in India, the government has approved the creation of a common electronic platform which will allow farmers and traders to sell their produce to buyers anywhere in the country.
Currently, the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) Acts in different states permit the first sale of crops — after harvesting by farmers — to take place only in regulated market yards or mandis.
The farmer’s universe of buyers is restricted only to traders or commission agents licensed to operate in the area under a particular APMC. In most cases, multiple licences are required to trade in different mandis within the same state.
What is now being envisaged, based on the proposal cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday, is a National Agriculture Market (NAM) online trading portal where farmers can offer their produce to buyers in any part of the country.