Agriculture markets to changeover to web based auction which will ensure that the farmer is not dependent on a particular market or a set of traders to sell his produce at the prices dictated by the latter

Farmers in the State will command the prevailing price, if not a higher price, for their produce if the plans of the Marketing Department succeed.

Taking cue from a pilot project under implementation in Gulbarga in Karnataka, the Marketing Department has decided to take up mandi modernisation, and web-basing of the agriculture market committees, in three major commodities markets in the State. The project will be rolled out in Nizamabad, Warangal and Guntur markets while efforts are under way to include two more.

Once it takes shape, farmers will get relief from middlemen, a menace that continues in spite of numerous efforts. The project was first proposed by the National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) to link all the agriculture produce market committees for trading commodities, non-perishables in particular, by enabling farmers to virtually participate in auction of the commodities at the national level. This, in turn, will ensure that the farmer is not dependent on a particular market or a set of traders to sell his produce at the prices dictated by the latter, but can command the prevailing price which will be displayed at the yard.

The project will ensure that e-tendering and e-auction processes are put in place for the products entering the market yards. “Each lot will be given a unique code so that its movement from entry into the market to its exit including the information about buyer is recorded,” Marketing Commissioner G. Venkat Ram Reddy said.

According to NCDEX vice-president, south, Ramesh Chand H.C, the pilot project in Karnataka covers 15 major mandis out of the 54. Trading is currently allowed in eight commodities. The first phase of automating the mandis has been completed. In the second phase, standardisation of products will be taken up and the third phase comprises development of technology and infrastructure for making the mandis web-based. “The process is aimed at enhancing competitiveness and this will significantly boost returns for farmers,” Mr. Ramesh Chand said.A new system ought to be put in for perishables like fruits and vegetables as their shelf life will be so short that there is no scope for their transfer from one mandi to another.