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Union Minister of Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan was worried about disposal of nearly 19 lakh tonnes of pulses which the government procured from various sources for keeping a buffer stock to check price rise. The government had procured 20 lakh tonnes of pulses. On Tuesday, he heaved a sigh of relief as he pushed the button to launch an exclusive e-platform Rashtriya Kisan Agri Mandi (e-RaKAM), a joint initiative of Mini Ratnas MSTC and Central Railside Warehouse Company (CRWC). e-RaKAM aims to empower farmers & agri businesses.
e-RaKAM is developed by MSTC Limited ( Ministry of Steel) and supported by marketing & logistics partner CRWC Limited ( Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution).
e-RaKAM is a digital initiative bringing together the Farmers, FPOs, PSUs, Civil Supplies and Buyers including common people on a single platform to ease the selling and buying process of agricultural products. Under this initiative e-RaKAM centers are being developed in a phased manner throughout the country to facilitate farmers/FPOs for online sale of their produce.
On the other hand, bidders from national and international markets will be able to buy quality agro products without any involvement of the intermediaries. Right after the completion of the bidding process, the buyer will have the option to get the products delivered through CRWC or any other logistics service provider. While farmers would be paid through e-Payment directly into their bank accounts, thus keeping the system free from the vested interest of intermediaries which is the prime objective of e-RaKAM.
“I personally feel that we should start with auctioning of pulses as we have them in abundance. Nearly 20 lakh tonnes of pulses were lying idle at warehouses and it still has no buyers. E-RaKAM will help us and farmers hugely,” Paswan said while launching the e-RaKAM in New Delhi.
“Initial hurdles will be there as most of our farmers are illiterate or not familiar with the use of such technologies. However every new thing comes with its own difficulties that will be managed with time. This way various crops whose price increases due to rainfall or bad weather conditions will be managed and will get the market. Even transport condition will also have initial hurdles that will be sorted with time,” he added.
Birender Singh; Minister of Steel said,“Our aim is to strengthen the agriculture-oriented Indian economy and farmers, who play a vital role in national development. e-RaKAM is a first of its kind initiative that leverages technology to connect farmers to smallest villages to the biggest markets of the world through internet and e-RaKAM centers.”
BB Singh, CMD, MSTC said, “e-RaKAM is a dedicated portal that will provide a platform where agri-business transactions will be made through Forward Auction, e-booking, price-quantity e-auction and e-procurement with online payment system and has logistic support by CRWC. The aim is to promote digital India drive in rural sectors so as to increase the farmers income.”
KU Thankachen, MD, CRWC said, “ Now we will have a widespread e-market platform for transparent sale transactions and price discovery. It unshackles the potential of Indian farmers who have been trapped in a vicious cycle of intermediaries and low margin. CRWC will act as a Marketing & Logistics partner for the project.”
e-RaKAM is expected to bring paradigm shift in the agriculture sector of India; an initiative that enables Indian farmers to connect directly with potential markets at best prices.