To help the farmers earn good returns on the farm they produce without any hassle, the government is in the process to formulate guidelines to setup online agri-platforms.
Already, some states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have set up such e-marketing platforms with their own funds on a small scale. The Centre wants to enhance it to countrywide level.
"We are in the process of finalising the guidelines to provide e-marketing trading option to farmers at APMC mandis," a senior Agriculture Ministry official told PTI.
The proposed e-marketing portals, to be set up with Rs 100 crore allocated under the 'Agri Infrastructure Fund' announced in the previous Budget, aims to eliminate the role of middlemen and unfair trade practices, the official said.
According to sources, the government initially plans to promote at least 600 mandis and provide an unified online trading option to farmers besides the existing traditional one at the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs).
Both small and big farmers can avail the option of either selling via online or through the traditional way in mandis.
The government is still discussing on list of commodities to be allowed for online trading, the likely name of the portal and roping in of e-marketing service provider and other private players.
Sources also said that Rs 20-35 lakh per mandi would be given to the state government to put in place necessary infrastructure like storage, grading, sorting and other facilities required for smooth functioning of online trading.
The entire transportation and godown facilities at agri e-marketing platform would be covered by the APMC Act unlike other online shopping portals like Jabong, Amazon or Flipkart, sources added.
The Karnataka government had last year launched Rashtriya e-Market Services (ReMS) in partnership with NCDEX Spot Exchange (NSPOT) in 47 major APMC markets. It is offering online trading in 4-5 commodities at present.