The National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) is in active consultation with various States, including Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, for replicating its mandi modernisation project.

The exchange is implementing a pilot project in Karnataka, covering 15 major mandis out of the 54 agricultural produce market committees and trading in eight commodities. The first phase of automating the mandis has been completed, and inter-linking them is in progress.

The second phase of the project, launched in 2010, involves standardisation of products, including quality assessment, and the third phase comprises development of technology and infrastructure for web-based mandis facilitating national trading. “It is a fairly large pilot aimed at switching an entire State into the model. We are confident of rolling out full-fledged services, primarily aimed at providing better prices to farmers, within a year,” NCDEX Executive Vice-President-South, Ramesh Chand H. C., said.

Attempts to replicate the model in Tamil Nadu were underway while delegations from Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh which inspected the pilot were appreciative of the model.

According to NCDEX Chief Business Officer Vijay Kumar, once mandis were inter-linked and web-based, it would allow traders to trade from any place, and increase competitiveness among farmers. The NCDEX team was here to announce the launch of “Gold 100 gram contract” on Thursday. The contract is based on gold bars of 100 gram with .999 fineness.