In order to create an integrated agricultural market at national level, the government has formulated a Central Sector Scheme for “Promotion of National Agriculture Market through Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund (ATIF)” to be implemented with a budgetary outlay of Rs.200 crore during 2015-16 to 2017-18.
Under the scheme, an appropriate common e-market platform would be deployed in 585 selected regulated wholesale markets in states across the country. Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC) will meet expenses on software and its customization for the States and in addition will also give grant as one-time fixed cost subject to the ceiling of Rs.30.00 lakhs per Mandi for related hardware including equipment/infrastructure.
The selection of the mandis will be based on proposals from States that have carried out prior reforms in their marketing laws in respect of
(i) a single license to be valid across the State,
(ii) single point levy of market fee and
(iii) provision for electronic auction as a mode for price discovery. It is envisaged that at least 585 mandis will be integrated with the common e-platform over three years during 2015-16 to 2017-18.
In order to modernise the existing mandis and strengthen the agriculture market infrastructure in the country, including in rural areas, the Government has been providing financial assistance through various central sector and centrally sponsored schemes which include inter-alia the schemes of Department of Agriculture & Cooperation (DAC) such as the Integrated Scheme for Agricultural Marketing (ISAM) and its sub-schemes of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI), Marketing Research and Information Network (MRIN) and Venture Capital Assistance (VCA), the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) as well as the scheme of Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) on Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure.
The Government has also been advocating to the States/ Union Territories to reform their agri-marketing laws to promote development of alternative marketing channels other than the market yards of Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) to promote inter-alia private investment in development of agri marketing infrastructure.
Photo Courtesy: Poonam Mondal