Kisan Mandi is an online platform operated by the Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) that facilitates the purchase, sale or promotion of fruits and vegetables, agri-produce, agri-machinery, tools, tractors, etc in the Delhi NCR region. The portal, which could be utilized by the farmers at no cost, aids them in selling their produce to the end consumers without engaging any middlemen. Also, the farming sector would benefit from direct group procurement of agri-products or machinery from manufacturing companies and major distributors at a reasonable price.
Kisan Mandi was introduced with the objectives of eliminating middlemen to help the farmers garner more profits and reducing information asymmetry between small farmers and consumers. Consumers in this context refer to bulk buyers such as organized retail chains, hotels, caterers, offline and online retail chains, exporters etc.
- The project would enable buyers to make direct procurements of fruits and vegetables from Farmer Producing Organizations (FPOs) operating in hubs like Nashik and Western Uttar Pradesh through local franchisees. These local franchisees would be involved in quality grading and sorting of produces before linking it to an electronic platform. All products under the initiative are processed as per the defined quality parameters.
- We can infer from the above that the FPOs, promoted by the Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), would use the platform to make direct sales of produce, i.e. without the intervention of any commission agents.
- Facilities such as transit cold storages and warehouses would be provided to Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and grower associations who are having stalls at the market.
- The software for the portal is developed by National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), and funded by the Centre.
- The procurer may, through the portal, assess the quality and grade of the produce through the portal before proceeding with the procurements.
Who can be a Franchisee?
A franchisee, in this context, could be a private player, an entrepreneur or a mandi registered with the portal. As already stated, franchisees have been designated with the task of verifying the quality and quantity of produce before sourcing them for auctions.
India’s capital was chosen as the launch destination as it is among the seven States/Union Territories that had delisted fruits and vegetables from the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act. For the awareness of the readers, the delisting has enabled farmers to sell their produce to wholesale markets beyond designated limits. The platform may soon be extended to the States of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.
Note – Delhi is Asia’s largest market for fruits and vegetables, receiving 11,000-13,000 tonnes on a daily basis.
The project is expected to yield a profit of up to 20-25% for the producers, and 15-20% for the consumers. The financials apart, it is envisaged to tackle the asymmetry between buyer and seller as the buyers could quote a price before trading (if acceptable to the farmer) and make a successful transaction. This ensures transparency and mutual benefits as the farmer is also empowered to decide a price and save his/her money from being wasted on commissions to middlemen.