“About 5.5 lakh farmers have sold their produce, while 54,000 traders have made purchases and 28,000 commission agents have registered themselves till about eight days before today,” said Mr. Singh while inaugurating an Assocham conference on ‘Linking farmers with market.’
“We had started it on a pilot project basis and have tried to remove all the anomalies related to both hardware and software and it is now moving very fast towards empowering farmers to allow them to sell their produce,” said the Union Minister.
He informed that the Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry is working towards setting up hub centres for providing milk, eggs, fruits, vegetables, flowers and other such things near metros as part of the online trading platform.
“Chinese capital has population twice as much that of Delhi but everything is available within a radius of 150 kilometres, while in Delhi milk comes from Andhra Pradesh and vegetables from Kolkata,” said Mr. Singh.
“As such we are going to make provision under the mandi laws and we have conducted 3-4 meetings in NCR (National Capital Region) to make Gurgaon a hub for flowers, while Sonepat and Panipat would be made hub for vegetables and Karnal for indigenous cow’s milk and we are also in talks with UP (Uttar Pradesh) in this regard,” he added.
He also informed that laboratories are also being set up in electronic wholesale markets to check quality of the farmers’ produce so that any trader or farmer can purchase or sell the same across India.
“These facilities are already available within the states but now we are working towards making it feasible inter-state and the GST (goods and services tax) will play a significant role in this regard,” informed Mr Singh.
He said that the government will also work towards improving the mandi laws and try to establish them in private sector by improving marketing related laws.
“We have made amendments in marketing related laws in about 22 states and licenses are being issued to set up mandis in the private sector,” said the Minister.
Talking about impact of demonetisation on agriculture sector, he said that the Centre’s move to ban 500 and 1,000 notes has not affected sowing of rabi crops.
“It is such a huge decision that some inconvenience being caused is quite natural, opposition to demonetisation is equivalent to supporting black money, terrorism and fake currency as such people should refrain from taking political benefit of this issue,” said Mr. Singh.