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6   AgriTech indiA  September 2018                                                                                                   News

          Fresh rain in Central Gujarat lifts                                    Slowly but steadily, the eNAM

          prospects for kharif crops                                             platform is taking root

                                                         26.74  lakh  ha  (+1  per  cent),   he   electronic   National   have  carried  out  agricultural
                                                         soyabean  at  1.32  lakh  ha  (+6  TAgriculture   Market   marketing  reforms,  but  are
                                                         per  cent)  and  maize  a  tad   (eNAM),  the  flagship  scheme   still not on eNAM.
                                                         higher at 3.10 lakh ha.  of the Centre, has been facing
                                                            Sowing of groundnut, the   criticism  on  several  fronts   Showing progress
                                                         second  largest  kharif  crop  in   since its launch in 2016.  So  far,  inter-mandi  trade
                                                         the  State,  stood  at  14.65  lakh   These   relate   to   the   has started inAndhra Pradesh,
                                                         ha  —  lower  by  about  10  per   absence  of  assaying/grading   Telangana,   Chattisgarh,
                                                         cent against last year.  infrastructure,  the  delay  in   Haryana,   Uttar   Pradesh,
                                                                                 online payment, failure of the   Uttrakhand   and   Madhya
             fter  a  prolonged  wait,   received  rains  in  excess  of   Storage levels low  server  during  peak  arrivals   Pradesh. Work has also begun   online payment has not gained
          Amonsoon    rains   have   100  mm.  These  are  the  major   The  water  storage  level   and software glitches.  on  setting  up  assaying  labs   traction.  Mandi  officials  are,
                                                                                                         in each mandi and putting in
                                                                                    However,  from  numbers
          returned to Gujarat, lashing the   growing  areas  for  crops  such   in dams remained alarmingly   given   by   highly   placed   place the logistics network.  however,  persuading  traders
          central parts of the State. The   as cotton, soyabean, maize and   low  in  most  parts  of  Kutch,   sources,  it  appears  that  there   The number of assayed lots   and farmers to embrace it.
          Met Department has predicted   paddy.          Central and the North Gujarat   has  been  an  effort  to  resolve   at eNAM mandis has risen from   Online  payments  on  the
          more rains in the next 48 hours                region. Water stored in the 203   the challenges.  1 lakh in 2016-17 to 13 lakh in   portal increased from Rs. 3.38
          for the region.        Acreage down            dams across the State stands at   The target for the number   2017-18. In the four months of   crore  in  2016-17  to  Rs.  70.62
            As   per   the   State   The  latest  spell  of  rains   36 per cent of total capacity.  of mandis to be covered under   the current year, about 8 lakh   crore  in  2017-18.  Between
          Emergency Operations Centre,   has come to the rescue of the   The  Sardar  Sarovar  Dam   eNAM  in  the  first  two  years   lots  of  different  commodities   April  and  July  of  this  this
          out  of  251  taluks,  58  have   State’s  kharif  sowing.  So  far,   on  the  Narmada  holds  39.5   — 585 mandis across 16 States   have been assayed, and 2018-  financial  year,  they  crossed
          received  substantial  rains.  A   total  sowing  for  this  kharif   per  cent  of  its  total  capacity   and  two  Union  Territories  —   19  may  close  with  20-25  lakh   Rs. 68.17 crore.
          statement issued by the India   season has been lower, at 72.28   as  there  is  no  inflow  from   was achieved in March 2018.  assayed lots.
          Meteorological   Department   lakh ha (77.97 lakh ha).  the  upper  catchment  area  in   A  few  other  States  and   That   number   is   Long way to go
          (IMD)  said  that  two  systems   State   Agriculture   Madhya Pradesh.  Union  Territories  are  not  yet   insignificant,   considering   While  about  10  per  cent
          conducive  to  the  monsoon   Department   data   showed   “We   are   facing   a   on board eNAM either because   the  assaying  requirement  of   of  the  mandis  in  the  country
          were  active  and  would  bring   an  increase  in  the  sowing  of   worrisome situation currently   they  have  not  carried  out  the   all  commodities  in  the  585   are  under  eNAM  now  and
          rains to Gujarat.      cotton,  maize  and  soyabean,   with deficient rains and lower   regulatory  reforms  required   markets,  but  the  progress  is   work  on  building  assaying
            The  State  has  so  far   while  sowing  of  groundnut,   water  reserves  at  the  dams.   for facilitating electronic trade   encouraging.  laboratories  is  also  on,  the
          received  only  58  per  cent  of   castor  and  pulses  remained   However,  presently  there  is   (Delhi,  Meghalaya,  Assam,   Almost 85 per cent of the   platform’s impact as captured
                                                                                                                                 by the number of bids per lot
          the season’s average rainfall of   lower  as  compared  to  last   no  issue  on  drinking  water   Nagaland  and  Tripura)  or   585  mandis  under  eNAM   (number  of  buyers  a  farmer
          831 mm.                year.                   availability,”  said  JP  Gupta,   because   the   APMC   Act,   today have the basic assaying   gets  for  his  produce)  shows
            The     districts   of   As  the  kharif  sowing   Principal  Secretary  of  Water   which  puts  up  the  basic   machinery:  digital  moisture   that eNAM is still at a nascent
          Ahmedabad,   Gandhinagar,   window  closed  by  the  end  of   Supply, Gujarat.  framework  for  a  regulated   meter, hot air oven, weighing   stage.
          Panchmahal   and   Kheda   July,  cotton  acreage  stood  at           spot commodity market, is not   balance  and  the  required   Though large mandis such
                                                                                 in  force  (as  in  Bihar,  Kerala,   manual lab equipments.
                                                                                 Manipur,   Andaman   and                        as Nizamabad and Suryapet in
                                                                                 Nicobar  Islands,  Diu,  Dadar   Online payment  Telangana, Adoni and Guntur
                                                                                 and Nagar Haveli).         Farmers can derive the full   in Andhra Pradesh and a few
                                                                                    In the case of Jammu and   benefit  of  an  online  platform   mandis  in  Chattisgarh  and
                                                                                 Kashmir,  the  APMC  is  non-  for  spot  transaction  only  if   Rajasthan  record  an  average
                                                                                 functional.             they get instant payments.  of about 30/35 buyers per lot
                                                                                    A few States — such as —   However,   for   many   in  peak  arrival  seasons,  the
                                                                                 Karnataka, Arunachal Pradesh,   reasons,  including  traders’   national average is small.
                                                                                 Sikkim,  Mizoram  and  Goa  —   unwillingness   to   pay   in   The  average  (national)
                                                                                                         white  and  farmers’  fear  that   number  of  bids  received  per
                                                                                                         their  money  in  banks  will  be   lot  on  the  eNAM  platform  is
                                                                                                         used to settle crop loan dues,   4.54, up from 3.28 last year.

                                                                                                         No plans to prosecute

                                                                                                         traders for buying farm

                                                                                                         produce below MSp:

                                                                                                            he        Maharashtra   is  taken  against  them.  The
                                                                                                         TGovernment  has  no  plans   APMC at Latur has been worst
                                                                                                         to  jail  traders  who  buy  farm   affected  with  about  10,000
                                                                                                         produce  below  the  Minimum   sacks  of  Black  gram  (Urad
                                                                                                         Support  Price  (MSP),  said   dal), Green gram (Moong dal),
                                                                                                         Maharashtra’s Agriculture and   Pigeon pea ( Toor/Arhar dal)
                                                                                                         Cooperation  Secretary  Bijay   and  Soybean  lying  unsold  in
                                                                                                         Kumar.  He  was  reacting  to  a   the market yard. Latur APMC
                                                                                                         recent  news  item,  which  said   Chairman Lalit Shah told that
                                                                                                         that traders would be arrested   trade has come to standstill as
                                                                                                         if  they  bought  goods  such  as   traders  want  letters  from  the
                                                                                                         grains  and  pulses  below  the   APMC  that  they  will  not  be
                                                                                                         MSP.  Kumar  said  that  there   arrested  if  they  buy  produce
                                                                                                         was  no  such  proposal  with   below   MSP.   The   APMC
                                                                                                         the  State  Cabinet.  If  such  an   members  are  confused  as  the
                                                                                                         important  decision  was  taken   State  Government  has  not
                                                                                                         then  the  State  Government   provided any clear instructions
                                                                                                         would  have  issued  a  press   as to the changes in the APMC
                                                                                                         statement  he  said.  “I  don’t   Act  under  which  an  arrest
                                                                                                         know what the source was for   could happen, he said.
                                                                                                         that information. They should   Shah  said  that  there  is
                                                                                                         have  checked  with  me,”  he   an  air  of  confusion  over  the
                                                                                                         said.                   issue.  The  so-called  changes
                                                                                                            He  pointed  out  that  MSP   in  APMC  Act  have  not  been
                                                                                                         is  an  assurance  provided  by   communicated  to  the  APMC.
                                                                                                         the  State  Government  to  the   The  Latur  APMC  has  written
                                                                                                         farmers; so that they produce   letters to the State Government
                                                                                                         more  of  a  particular  crop   seeking clarity on the issue.
                                                                                                         and  that  the  country  gets   He  said  that  if  such  a
                                                                                                         self  sufficient.  MSP  is  not  an   law  is  passed  by  the  State
                                                                                                         assurance given by traders.  Government  then  it  would
                                                                                                                                 be  challenged  legally.  If  the
                                                                                                         Trading takes a hit     law  has  to  be  brought  into
                                                                                                            As  a  result  of  such  news   effect  then  traders  have  to
                                                                                                         items,  trading  of  grains  and   be  taken  into  confidence  and
                                                                                                         pulses has come to a grinding   their objections will have to be
                                                                                                         halt  in  the  major  markets   recorded, “I would not like to
                                                                                                         of  Maharashtra.  Sentiment   say much but such a change in
                                                                                                         has  been  affected  by  the   the  Act  would  be  challenged
                                                                                                         unconfirmed  news  reports  of   in the Bombay High Court by
                                                                                                         prosecution for buying below   an organisation, using the writ
                                                                                                         MSP.  Traders  have  sought   petition route,” Shah said.
                                                                                                         reassurance  from  the  local   A  senior  official  at  the
                                                                                                         Agricultural  Produce  Market   Baramati  APMC  said  that
                                                                                                         Committee  (APMC),  which   trading  has  been  halted  and
                                                                                                         runs  the  local  market  yards.   goods  running  up  to  157
                                                                                                         They  are  willing  to  trade   tonnes  were  lying  unsold  in
                                                                                                         provide  no  coercive  action   the market yard.
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