How Can India’s e-Mandi System Benefit Farmers?

Research by Isha Malaviya
Presented & Edited by Sumit Krishna Yadav

As opposed to a traditional mandi system, e-mandis specifically abolish the culture of middlepersons. During the pandemic they serve a two-fold purpose by both increasing direct-to-consumer access, and securing some form of finance for affected vendors. The initiative has been taken on two levels—by the Centre, and by start-ups.

The Centre inaugurated e-NAM in 2016, a government project that shifted mandis registered under APMC to a common online platform. The primary aim is to provide real-time price discovery, derived from supply and demand, through a transparent process. In 2016, only 21 mandis were registered with e-NAM. As of May 2020, over 700 mandis have been integrated onto the platform. Karnataka’s Rashtriya e-Market Services (ReMS) has joined hands with e-NAM, widening the scope of online agricultural transactions. The Agricultural Ministry has reported that there has been an increase of 65% in connected mandis since the beginning of the lockdown.

So, what exactly is an e-mandi, how does it operate? Can this system effectively benefit Indian farmers? and finally, what obstacles stand in the way of its implementation?

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