Farmers who would be selling their produce at farmgate under the recently-enacted Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Act 2020 will have real-time access to prevailing commodity prices through a market intelligence and price information system, which will be up and running soon, according to top Agriculture Ministry sources.
One of the major contentions of a section of farmers protesting against the new farm legislations was that when an agribusiness or processor buys produce from farmers in direct trade, farmers may end up selling the produce at low prices as they do not have access to price discovery.
Price discovery mechanism
“A farmer will have now four different possibilities for selling his or her produce. One, farmer can sell it in physical market, which is a notified mandi. Second, selling through virtual exchanges such eNAM or other private electronic marketplaces. Three, a contract agreement, where there is a visibility of the price. The fourth possibility is farmer selling at the farmgate,” the sources said.
“We are developing a market intelligence and price information system and a mechanism for disseminating this information to farmers across the country so that they can make an informed choice where they want to sell their produce. The portal is expected to be ready in next three to four months,” they said adding that this is mandated in the section 7 of the Act. This system will be having information all other systems that are prevalent. It will take inputs from physical market, inputs from e-trading platforms (it is mandatory for all e-trading platforms to share price information on a common portal). Similarly, as the contracts are registered, their information will also be available and the fourth element will be commodity exchanges where even future prices are also available,” the sources said.
Digital info mode
The idea to capture all this information and using an analytical tool, make them available to farmers to understand what is the prevailing price of a particular crop of a particular grade in the local market or in a market in another State or at the national level, they added.The government plans to disseminate the price information through an App, through text messages, also make it available on the portal as well as through electronic displays at various locations such as mandis, where the farmers already have access.
Source: Business Line