Conference On
Linking Farmers With Market

24 November, 2016 , New Delhi

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BACKGROUND/RATIONALE

Indian agriculture is going through a very dynamic phase, and with Government of India’s every effort focused towards creating the next leg of Green revolution, next ten years for farm sector is going to be very exciting. Though, Indian economy got  liberalized in 1991, its agriculture has not been lucky enough, and now is the right time for the Government to unshackle the agriculture sector from traditional policies and overhaul the entire system to take the agri growth to next level, and give our farmers much needed motivation to remain in this sector and feed the population of 1.2 billion.

National Agriculture Market (NAM)is a pan India electronic common market platform for agricultural goods launched by the central government.NAM aims to integrate the existing 585 Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMC) that are at present conducting agricultural trade across the country. The APMCs are regulated by concerned state governments, as agricultural marketing is a state subject.The move towards a national agricultural trading platform is a progressive step by the center.The NAM Portal provides a single window service for all APMC related information and services. This includes commodity arrivals & prices, buy & sell trade offers, provision to respond to trade offers, among other services.The existing agricultural marketing regulations make it very difficult for farmers to sell directly in the market.Fragmented markets and presence of large number of intermediaries in APMCs gives only a fraction of the market price to the farmers. NAM addresses these challenges by creating a unified market through online trading platform, both, at State and National level and promotes transparency and uniformity.

The “One nation one (farm) market” concept can turn out to be the biggest agricultural reform, if executed as envisaged under NAM. However, as things stand today, there are many complications that need to be sorted out to make it work smoothly.

Despite being termed as a national market, it covers only 585 markets out of over 7,000 wholesale markets. All major markets need to be brought under NAM to realize its full potential.Necessary amendment in APMC laws by remaining States should also be made. Most States ban the movement of commodities when local prices surge. As a part of NAM, States should refrain from restricting the inter-State movement of agri produce.Most farmers sell their crops to local commission agents as they are their main sources of credit supply. If this reality doesn’t change, NAM’s benefits may remain limited to big farmers rather than helping small and marginal farmers. Institutional credit will have to replace credit from local traders/money lenders for encouraging small farmers to access NAM for selling their produce.

Farmers also sell produce to local traders to avoid extra transportation cost. Besides, some farmers who visit mandis carry too small volumes to attract the big buyers. That makes the role of aggregators critical. Another challenge is lack of basic infrastructure. More than 80 per cent of Indian mandis don’t have the required quality checking, grading, assaying and warehousing set-up. It’s important to note that under NAM, farmers will be selling to distant online buyers. As a result, there will be a lag between the time of sale and time of delivery. That makes the availability of quality warehousing important. Buyers and sellers will be dealing with (almost anonymously) complete strangers for transactions. Thus, meeting the agreed quality standards will be crucial.

NAM utilizes the opportunities of technology for agricultural marketing as it is techno-infrastructure platform.Rolling out of the scheme and integration of the old system with new, will be a daunting task for all the stakeholders. Creating convergence in the agricultural marketing value chain such as eNAM, NCDEX, farmers, APMCs etc. is a need of the hour to complete the flow of commodities from the place of origin to the place of consumption and to call this scheme a true success.

To address this subject matter of immense importance, ASSOCHAM proposes to hold a Conference on “Linking Farmers with Market”, to facilitate all the stakeholders to come at one platform and brainstorm ways to promote national agriculture market.

OBJECTIVES 

  • To bring Central, State Governments, SFAC, other policy makers and market forces together and discuss ways to smooth roll out of eNAM and smooth functioning of eNAM
  • To elaborate on mechanisms of creating a Central market without sacrificing interest of state governments.
  • To devise methods for effective mitigation of restrictive barrier including APMC Act among several others.
  • To create awareness among farmers about the use of eNAM, and sell their produce beyond their region and get the best possible price.
  • To study the impact of future trading on eNAM and vice versa.
  • To study the preparedness of logistics sector in aiding NAM
  • To study how much warehousing sector is ready to augment the benefits of NAM.
  • To study what financial sector can bring on table to facilitate farmers.
  • To find the way forward as far as grading, quality testing and assaying of farm produce is concerned.
  • To ascertain how information technology is prepared to take on this mammoth task.
  • To study the lessons learnt from Rashtriya electronic Market Scheme (ReMS) or The Karnataka Model, and finding ways to improve upon that.

FOCUS AREA

  • Strengthening of National Agriculture Market/eNAM –

The conference will bring together stakeholders together to brainstorm on ways to strengthen the functioning of eNAM.

  • Unification ofAgriculture Markets –

Integration of existing market structure with the new single marketplace, by bringing in much needed reforms and their adoption by all states.

  • Education of Farmers –

Educating farmers as to how to use eNAM and derive various benefits will one of the focus areas of this conference.

  • Integration of NCDEX with e-NAM: How NCDEX will be linked to eNAM and how resulting benefits can reach to farmers, buyers and other stakeholders. 
  • Benefits of e-NAM to food retail inflation: Food inflation at retail level is giving sleepless nights to the policy makers. e-NAM as a possible solution to control food inflation at retail level will be the key parameter of success of eNAM.
  • Easy Access to Finance: Helping farmers in getting easy access to cheap finance will be key take away by bringing eNAM and Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority(WDRA)
  • Strengthening of Warehousing sector: Strong warehousing will be the backbone of NAM. Focused discussion on same is very critical in knowing the way forward.Warehousing sector reform itself is of paramount importance in this process.
  • Special focus on Logistics: Transportation of farm produce will be key to the success of NAM, as transportation of farm produce from the point of origin to the point of consumption can be any area from north to south or east to west. Timely delivery specially in case of perishable commodities will be very important.
  • Development of testing and grading infrastructure: As the very purpose of NAM will minimize physical checking of the produce by buyer, credible infrastructure has to be developed at all the selling points, which can certify the produce and can standardize the quality.
  • Information Technology as backbone of NAM: As information technology will be the backbone of this initiative, a detailed discussion on the same is of utmost importance.

PARTICIPANTS PROFILE

  • All 585 APMCs in India
  • Small Farmer’s Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC)
  • Farmers
  • Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA)
  • Logistic Companies
  • State Governments and their Marketing Boards
  • Central Government
  • Traders
  • Banks
  • Market Research Firms
  • Retail Chains
  • NGOs
  • Diplomats
  •  Legal Experts
  • NCDEX
  • IT Companies  - Potential Strategic Partners of SFAC
  •  Transporters
  •  Testing and grading Labs
  •  Agribusiness Companies

Registration Fees: 

  • Indian Delegate: Rs. 1500 per delegate ( 2nd & Subsequent Delegates)
  • Overseas Delegate: USD 50 per delegate ( 2nd & Subsequent Delegates)

Special Discounts:

ASSOCHAM Corporate Members: 20%
ASSOCHAM Associate Members: 10%