Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan
In picture: Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.Press Information Bureau

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday urged Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh to link all 66 Regulated Market Committees (RMCs) of Odisha with the e-NAM platform.

"There is an urgent need to link all the 66 RMCs functioning under the supervision and control of the Odisha State Agricultural Marketing Board under the National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) platform," Pradhan said in a letter to the Agriculture Minister.

The e-NAM is a pan-India electronic trading portal, a network of the existing Agricultural Produce Market Committee trading platforms, or 'mandi', to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.

Presently, 10 such mandis are linked to e-NAM, an initiative aimed at creating an open unified marketplace for farmers.

This is especially important as the majority of the RMCs in Odisha have inadequate facilities and sufficiently developed infrastructure," the Minister said.

Pradhan further added that such an initiative will go a long way in easing farmers' woes by helping in the correlation of their crops with markets, enhancing the farmer's income.

A farmer covered with a plastic sheet
A farmer covered with a plastic sheet works in a paddy field as it drizzles in the outskirts of Agartala, capital of India's northeastern state of Tripura, September 17, 2012.REUTERS/Jayanta Dey

Around 60-70 percent of the population in Odisha is engaged in agriculture and allied activities. However, low per capita income coupled with declining profitability has harmed the farmers as they continue to lag behind in marketing and processing capabilities, the minister said.

In this context, it is imperative that both the farmers and related organisations should connect with e-NAM to benefit from absolute farm produce price discovery and achieve the vision of the government to double the farmers' income by 2022," said Pradhan.

The Minister volunteered to facilitate the vigorous linking of such markets in Odisha with the e-NAM platform.

While attending the AgriVikas 2018 in Bhubaneshwar recently, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said the Central government has already connected 585 e-mandis to the e-NAM under agricultural market reforms.

It has planned to link 22,000 rural markets to e-NAM by 2020 as part of its drive to double the income of farmers.