Promotion of National Agricultural Market through ATIF : Features

Promotion of National Agricultural Market through ATIF : Features

Question : CCEA has recently approved the centre sector scheme for Promotion of National Agricultural Market through ATIF/Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund. Discuss the key features of this scheme.

- CCEA has recently given approval to this scheme which will be set by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation through the SFAC or Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium through creation of a common electronic platform deployable in selected regulated markets across the nation

- Around INR 200 crore has been set aside for this scheme from 2015-2016 to 2017-2018

- This also comprises provision for supplying software free of cost by DAC to States and UTs for cost of related hardware/infrastructure to be subsidised by the Government up to INR 30 lakh per mandi( other than private mandis)

- Scheme aims to cover 585 selected regulated markets across the nation

- These will be integrated with the common e-platform to give farmers and traders access to chances for purchase/sale of agri-commodities at prices that are optimal in a transparent manner across the nation

- Private markets will also be permitted to access the e-platform enhancing its outreach

- Scheme is applicable on a pan India basis and states will be required to meet pre-requisites in terms of carrying out important agri-marketing reforms

- SFAC is the lead agency for developing the National e-market through the ministry of agriculture and a service provider will be selected through open bidding

- A suitable common e-market platform will be deployed in 585 regulated wholesale markets in states/UTs aiming to join the e-platform.

- SFAC will implement the e-platform in three phases namely 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.

- DAC will meet expenses on software and customisation for states and make provisions for free of cost offerings to states and UTs

- DAC will also provide a grant as a one time fixed cost subject to the ceiling of INR 30 lakh per mandi for related equipment in 585 regulated mandis for installing the e-market platform

- Large private mandis will be permitted to access e-platform for price discovery and they will not be given support with any fund for equipment/infrastructure

- For integration with the e-platform, states/UTs will undertake prior reforms for a single license to be valid across the state, single point levy of market fee and provision for electronic auction as a mode of price discovery

- Those States/UTs which have completed these prerequisites will be eligible for assistance as per the scheme

- e-marketing platform will promote reform of the agricultural marketing sector and promote free flow of agri commodities across the nation

- This will result in greater farmer satisfaction as marketing of the produce will be promoted

- It will also increase the farmer’s access to markets

Facts and Stats

- It will overcome the following challenges:

- Fragmentation of State into multiple market areas each administered by separate APMC,

- Multiple levy of mandi fees,

- Requirement for multiple license for trading in different APMCs, Licensing barriers leading to conditions of monopoly,

- Poor quality of infrastructure and low use of technology,

- Information asymmetry,

- Opaque process for price discovery,

- High level of market charges, movement controls.

- Agriculture market is a state subject
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