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Q. National Agriculture Market portal (e-mandi): will this new initiative help farmers to realise better prices for their produce?
Apr 15, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-3

Ans :


Recently central government has launched National Agriculture Market portal (e-mandi), to connect 21 mandis across 8 states to carry e-trading on a pilot basis. At present these chosen mandis will be able to connect with other chosen mandis within the state. It is the first step towards the establishment of unified national agricultural market.


At present, marketing of farm produce not only varies from state to state, but also varies within the states.  As each mandis are governed by its own Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs), so they follow their own rules and regulations like requirement of separate licences, different fees for marketing etc and these puts barrier on free trade. The use of technology is low, which means that there is very little transparency in transactions, which eventually hurts farmers.

This new unified e-platform will address many such problems that farmers are facing in marketing their produce. All 585 major farm markets across the country are planned to be linked to the e-platform by March 2018. The idea of e-portal was borrowed from Karnataka, where all mandis were connected by e-portal.


  • It will allow farmers to trade across the country and allow them to escape from cartels that dominate in local mandis.

  • Nationwide barrier free e-market for farm produce will result into better price realisation for farmers by reaching out to more buyers, including food processors and organised retail chains.

  • The e-platform will provide an opportunity for farmer to learn the prices of his produce in various different markets, thereby it eliminates chances of being exploited.

  • Provisions like single license for trading to be valid across the state, single point of levy of market fee and e-auction for price discovery will definitely helps the farmers. (these are pre-conditions to states to reform APMC act to join integrated market)


  • At present, there are only few warehouses equipped with facilities for weighing, grading and standardisation of stocks sold through the e-platform.

  • This new platform may not benefit the crops covered under the MSP regime.

  • Many states may remain outside of integrate agricultural marketing because they may not want to give up control over APMCs, as it gives them political power and yield handsome revenues for the state exchequers.


It is an important step in the direction to establish barrier free trade of farm produce across the nation. Government should build more infrastructures which supports the e-platform. To realise the benefits states should amend their APMC acts strictly on the lines of new initiative. Centre should make a good deal with states to maintain their political and financial control over APMCs, so that they can happily join in national agricultural market portal.

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