Six state APMCs may soon get e-trading facilities

After introducing e-trading in 15 agricultural produce marketing committees (APMCs) in Karnataka to ensure transparency in "mandis" enabling farmers to fetch better prices for their produce as also the consumers, National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX) has decided to modernise trading in six mandis of Gujarat.

At present, the trading in the mandis, where the buyers participate physically in less numbers, is very opaque and this prevents the farmers to get better prices for their produce. The idea behind introducing e-auctioning or trading of commodities at agricultural mandis is to increase the number of buyers from all over the country through NCDEX platform.

Connected electronically during auctioning, the buyers would come to know of the prices prevailing in a particular market and it would enable them to participate in it as per demand of the commodity in their own areas.

NCDEX officials say as the trading at present in mandis was not transparent as only few local buyers remained present there, major chunk of the price benefit was cornered by the middlemen, leaving little for farmers.

But in case of e-trading, in which the traders would participate in an e-mandi linked with other mandis and registered members of NCDEX, would ensure transparency, eliminate middlemen and hence bring in more benefits to the sellers.

NCDEX officials, based on their experience in Karnataka, say it would also increase the collection of fees for the mandis because of transparency. Officials say as the prices of commodities at one place are currently not known to traders in other places due to lack of transparency, the local traders buying at cheaper rates from farmers charged more from outside traders thus maximising their profits, without passing it on to the farmers.

According to NCDEX officials, e-mandis will reduce the role of the middlemen and traders from anywhere in the country can participate in e-trading and buy at the rates available to the local traders and take deliveries through NCDEX.

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