ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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National Agricultural Market

Rationale, Roll-out and Ramifications

The creation of the National Agricultural Market in India is a welcome move against the backdrop of the agricultural produce marketing committee reforms, 2013 and APMC Model Act 2003. With the twin objectives of spot price discovery and real-time price dissemination, the NAM is aimed at introducing a technology-enabled trading environment at regulated markets and integrate primary and secondary markets at the regional and national levels. To improvise the market structure, appointing a diverse and discursive group of market agencies/service providers is essential.

I am grateful for the comments of an anonymous referee of this journal. An expanded version of this article was sent on invitation for a chapter inclusion in India Commodity Yearbook 2016.

The Union Budget for 2014–15 proposed the idea of unified common market platform called National Agricultural Market (NAM). Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved it after a year, allocating ₹200 crore Agricultural Technology Infrastructure Fund. The purpose of fund allocation is to integrate some 585 agricultural produce marketing committees (APMCs) into a common market platform; 250 APMCs are to be covered in the current fiscal, 200 APMCs in 2016–17, and the remaining 135 APMCs in 2017–18.

In other words, only 8% of total principal and sub-yard APMCs are to be renovated into a technology-enabled unified market in the stipulated period. These APMCs would receive ₹30 lakh as a subsidy for infrastructure and technology adoption such as a computer, very small aperture terminal (VSAT), broadband internet service, power connection, etc. A few states have already shown interest in rolling out the NAM project. The concerned state agricultural marketing boards (SAMBs) need to work closely with the national spot exchange and market infrastructure institutions (Dey 2015c). Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) would be a lead agency to implement this central scheme at the auspices of Ministry of Agriculture.

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