To create a unified national market for agricultural commodities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM), popularly known as eNAM, in April 2016. However, the programme has received poor responses from agriculture community in Modi’s home state Gujarat. The programme was launched on April 14, 2016 by the Prime Minister, with an objective to link 585 regulated markets across the country by March 2018. So far, 40 Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) have been connected with the eNAM platform in Gujarat in past 18 months. Government officials also admitted that farmers, traders and commission agents who are associated with APMCs are not taking much interest and it will take time for smooth operation of the programme. The state government has trained them and infrastructure for the eNAM has been also ready in mandis.
“We have trained farmers, traders and commission agents in the state but still they are not taking interest to trade on eNAM platform because of their traditional trading mindset. “The state government is encouraging them by making aware about benefits and we hope participation will increase,” said J G Pandya, director of agriculture marketing board. While the state government claimed that it has completed training, farmers are not aware about such platform. Ramesh Bhoraniya, a farmer from Naranaka village of Rajkot said, “I do not know about eNAM platform. I am selling my produces in Rajkot APMC since past two decades and any government or APMC officials have not informed me about such platform.”
Gujarat State Agricultural Marketing Board (GSAMB) is the implementing agency of eNAM in the state. As on date, over three lakh farmers, 7,221 traders and 5,025 commission agents have been registered on the platform. The state government is planing to add 25 more APMCs in next three to four months. There are 250 active APMCs across Gujarat. According to the GSAMB official, farmers hesitate to adopt new things and as a result adoption is weak in the state.
“It is not easy to shift farmers and traders from traditional trading method to eNAM. We are trying to convince them but they are hesitant to accept new things. This is the reason we are getting below expectation result,” said A K Bhatt, managing director of GSAMB. The eNAM provides a single window service for all APMC related information and services. This includes commodity arrivals and prices, buy and sell trade offers, provision to respond to trade offers, among other services.
About 69 commodities including wheat, rice, soyabean, castor, cotton, groundnut, pulses, fruits and vegetables have been approved by the government for trading on eNAM platform.