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Fact Checking Government claims about e-NAM

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The BJP government published an infographic on the 48-months portal that makes claims about the e-NAM portal. This article is a fact check of these claims.

The BJP government published an infographic on the 48-months portal that makes claims about the e-NAM portal. This article is a fact check of these claims.

What is e-NAM?
As per a response provided by the government in the Lok Sabha in March 2018, ‘National Agriculture Market (eNAM) is a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.’

The government further stated that e-NAM has been deployed 551 regulated wholesale markets in 15 States and 2 UTs across the country as of March 2018. The pilot of the e-NAM was launched in 2016.

The e-NAM website also states that ‘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. While material flow (agriculture produce) continues to happen through mandis, an online market reduces transaction costs and information asymmetry.’

A response in Lok Sabha in March 2012 during the previous government states that ‘the Ministry of Agriculture prepared a model APMC Act and circulated to all States and Union Territories in 2003 for adoption. The model Act includes provisions for direct marketing and purchase of agriculture produce from farmers, contract farming, establishment of markets in private and cooperative sectors, special markets for agricultural commodities, prohibition of commission agency, rationalization of market fees, replacement of licensing system with simple registration, promotion of Public Private Partnership in development of markets, promotion of grading and standardization, etc.  So far, 16 State Governments have amended their respective APMC Acts on the lines with the model Act’.

Another important issue to be noted is that the annual report of the year 2013-14 of the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation  states that  ‘Marketing Research and Information Network (MRIN): This scheme was launched as Central Sector Scheme in March 2000 with the objective to collect and disseminate information on price, arrival and other market related data for the benefit of farmers and other market users. Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI) has been implementing the scheme in collaboration with Agricultural Marketing Boards/ Directorates, APMCs and NIC. Wholesale prices and arrivals information in respect of more than 300 commodities and 2000 varieties are being disseminated through the portal on daily basis. More than 3200 markets have been linked to the Central AGMARKNET Portal and more than 2200 markets have been reporting the data’.

In other words, the process of real-time information dissemination of prices etc. was initiated during the UPA itself. However, the e-NAM was launched by the current government.

How many regulated markets have signed up on the e-NAM portal?
The first claim is that ‘e-trading platforms, 585 regulated markets to fetch the best prices for farmers’.  

The website of e-NAM lists the 585 mandis from across the country. However, it is not clear as to how many of these mandis are actively using the system for online trade. Even this 585 is just 9% of the total number of whole sale APMC markets in the country. As per volume 4 of the Dalwai committee report on ‘Doubling on Farmer’s Income’, the total number of APMC wholesale markets in the country is 6615.

Claim: e-trading platforms, 585 regulated markets to fetch the best prices for farmers.

Fact: As per the e-NAM portal, 585 APMC mandis are on the e-NAM platform. Hence, the claim is TRUE. However, it is not clear as to how many of these mandis are actively using the system for online trade. Even this 585 is just 9% of the total number of whole sale APMC markets in the country.

What amount has been transacted?
The second claim is that ‘164.53 lakh tones of farm commodities worth Rs. 41,591 crore rupees transacted in one e-NAM.’

According to a response in Lok Sabha in March 2018, ‘tradable parameters in respect of 90 commodities have been prepared for trading on e-NAM portal. As of March 2018, 1.63 crore ton agri-commodities with trade value of Rs. 40,946 crore have been traded on e-NAM portal’.

While the numbers are true, the quantum of commodities traded on the e-NAM portal is less than 10% of the total food grain production in the country.

Claim:164.53 lakh tones of farm commodities worth Rs. 41,591 crore rupees transacted in one e-NAM.

Fact: 1.63 crore ton agri-commodities, trade value of Rs.40,946 crore have been traded on e-NAM portal. Hence, the claim is TRUE. However, the quantum of commodities traded on the e-NAM portal is less than 10% of the total food grain production in the country.

How many farmers and sellers are registered?
The third claim is that ‘more than 87.5 lakh farmers and sellers are registered’.  According to a response in Lok Sabha in March 2018, ‘ 85.41 lakh farmers, 55.4 thousand Commission Agents and 1.04 lakh Traders/Buyers have been registered on e-NAM portal’.

While these numbers are true, the number of farmers registered is less than 7% of the households engaged in farming in the country.

Claim:More than 87.5 lakh farmers and sellers are registered.

Fact: 85.41 lakh farmers, 55.4 thousand Commission Agents and 1.04 lakh Traders/Buyers have been registered on e-NAM portal.  Hence, the claim is TRUE. However, the number of farmers registered is less than 7% of the households engaged in farming.

This story is part of a larger series on the 4-years of the Modi government. This series has been made possible with the flash grant of the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN). Read the rest of the stories in this series here

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