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Govt approves Rs 200 Cr for online agriculture marketplace

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs
(CCEA), chaired by the PM Narendra Modi,
has given its approval to a Central
Sector Scheme for Promotion of National Agricultural Market through Agri-Tech
Infrastructure Fund (ATIF)
. The Department of Agriculture &
Cooperation (DAC) will set it up through the Small Farmers Agribusiness
Consortium (SFAC) by creation of a common electronic platform deployable in
selected regulated markets across the country.   

An amount of Rs. 200 crore has been
earmarked for the scheme from 2015-16 to 2017-18, which includes provision for
supplying software free of cost by DAC to the States and Union Territories
(UTs) and for cost of related hardware/infrastructure to be subsidized by the
Government of India up to Rs. 30 lakh per Mandi (other than for private
mandis). The aim is to integrate 585 wholesale mandis across India to provide
farmers and traders with access to opportunities for purchase/ sale of
agri-commodities at optimal prices in a transparent manner across the country. Besides,
private markets will also be allowed access to the e-platform thereby enhancing
its outreach.

The Scheme is applicable on All-India
basis. There is no State wise allocation under the Scheme. However, for
integration with the e-platform the States/UTs will first need to undertake
prior reforms in respect of (i) a single license to be valid across the State,
(ii) single point levy of market fee and (iii) provision for electronic auction
as a mode for price discovery. Only those States/UTs that have completed these
three pre-requisites will be eligible for assistance under the scheme.

The Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium
(SFAC) will be the lead agency t develop the national e-market by the ministry
of agriculture. The SFAC will implement the e-platform in three phases during
2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18.

The Department of Agriculture and
Cooperation will also give a one time grant with a ceiling of Rs 30 lakh per
mandi for setting up equipment and infrastructure to connect with the e-market


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