The ongoing lockdown and need for social distancing in wholesale markets in Maharashtra has led farmers to move on to the electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) platform. In the case of turmeric, in the last seven days, the platform has seen trade of over Rs 16 crore – a significant increase from the previous years.
On an average, Maharashtra reports around 11,000 hectares of turmeric crop with farmers, mostly bringing their produce to the market post March. Sangli, Hingoli, Parbhani and Nanded are major centres for crowing turmeric, with the wholesale market of Sangli being the price-setter for the commodity. Traders from Karnataka also visit this market to trade, given the superior quality of the spice grown here.
The lockdown and the need to maintain social distancing had put serious challengers for both farmers as well as traders. Sunil Pawar, the managing director of Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) said it was decided to encourage the use of eNAM for the spice crop to overcome both problems. “Turmeric is a high value and low volume crop, and is not perishable. Thus, the problem of fruits and vegetables does not arise,” he said.
In order to help farmers over trade restrictions, MSAMB, along with district authorities of Sangli, took the help of eNAM. “…Traders do not have to personally verify the quality of the produce and then call out bids. The bids on the platform are based on quality reports which farmers submit from assaying laboratories,” he said. Once bids are accepted by both parties, deliveries can be arranged as per convenience. Farmers who pledge their commodities with the market committee under the state government’s pledge loan scheme can sell their produce from the godowns.
Pawar said that since April 27, the state has seen the arrival of 30,913.41 quintals of turmeric, and the total traded volume was 28,167.46 quintals. The total value of the trade till date is around Rs 16.36 crore. “This certainly would be one of the largest such transactions on the platform,” he said. The Government of India has been actively promoting eNAM to help better returns for farmers. However, resistance from traders has seen the platform not taking off in a big way.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines