eNAM@4: A sea-change in how farmers sell
Despite its several detractors who had criticised the concept of connecting primary markets through an online platform, eNAM, at four (as on April 14), is going strong.
The e-platform, with 585 connected mandis across 16 States and two Union Territories, and 1.7 crore farmers and 1.3 lakh traders on board, is all set to add another 415 mandis to its fold this year.
The mandis across the country stand testimony to the benefits of eNAM. The 70 mandis in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are a case in point as, end to end, they have moved all operations on to eNAM. Farmers in the Nizamabad and Suryapet mandis are among those happy about the changes ushered in by eNAM — such as curbing trade cartels, transparency in auction and weighment, and immediate settlement of payment. Though these farmers often have to travel 30-40 km to the mandi, the better price offered by eNAM is ample compensation.
If lockdown is lifted by early May, there would be enough time to prepare for kharif season: Jagadeesh Sunkad
March, April and May are crucial months for preparation of the kharif season, which produces the largest quantity of foodgrains in the country. There is a fear in the market that the coronavirus pandemic has put a spanner in those preparations, especially for the seeds and agri-chemicals sectors. Senior agriculture consultant and thought-leader Jagadeesh Sunkad believes that if the lockdown is lifted by early May, there still would be enough time to prepare for the kharif season. Since the agriculture sector has already been exempted from the lockdown, the impact will not be devastating.
Kerala allows rubber tapping in latex processing, glove production units
The Kerala government has provided lockdown exemption for rubber plantations involved in latex processing and production of rubber and surgical gloves.
A decision to this effect was taken based on the request to allow the factories involved in latex processing and production of rubber/surgical gloves as they produce essential commodities required in tackling the spread of Covid-19. These factories can transport latex barrels to and from the plantations to factories so that the supply is assured.
They are also allowed to bring in required numbers of such barrels along with ammonia and other preservatives needed for such transportation of field latex to factories. Permission is also granted to the rubber plantations with maximum 25 per cent of staff strength during the lockdown period.