National Agricultural Market (NAM) is a pan India electronic common market platform for agricultural goods launched by the central government.
NAM integrates the existing 585 Agricultural 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 and two factors have propelled the center to come out with the launch of NAM.
First is the weaknesses of the existing agricultural marketing laws created by states and their lack of interest to follow center’s surgeons on these.
The existing agricultural marketing situation creates lot of regulation and hurdles for farmers to directly sell in the market.
Fragmented markets and large number of intermediaries in regulated markets (APMCs) gives only a fraction of the market price to the farmer. In this context, the best way is enabling the farmer to sell his product directly into the market. For that, the center has suggested modifications in the existing APMC law by producing a model APMC Act. But many states are not following the suggestions of the center. It is in this context that the new NAM become very important.
Secondly, NAM utilizes the opportunities of technology for agricultural marketing as it is a techno-infrastructure platform. Farmers can sell their produce directly using electronic auction system. Selling of the produce through online auction beyond the traditional borders of the regional market may give them more price. Thus the national online auction system is the main attraction of the NAM. An electronic portal of NAM (e-NAM) has been officially launched recently.
The center has allocated Rs 200 crores for the establishment of NAM in the budget 2016. Each APMC will be get Rs 30 lakh as a subsidy to establish the necessary infrastructure facilities such as VSAT terminals, power and broad band connectivity.