Demanding hard cash as payment for their produce, farmers blocked traffic near the NTR Mirchi Yard on the Guntur-Chilakuripet highway.

Asias largest chili yard in Guntur isnt trading - farmers want a better dealImage: Charan Teja
news Protest Friday, March 02, 2018 - 08:19

In a massive protest, scores of farmers brought trading at one of Asia’s biggest chilli markets to a halt on Thursday, alleging that traders refused to credit money to their accounts under the Electronic National Agricultural Marketing (e-NAM) system.

Demanding hard cash as payment for their produce, farmers blocked traffic near the NTR Mirchi Yard on the Guntur-Chilakuripet highway for more than two hours until authorities met and spoke to them.  

Screenshot:iNews

The Agriculture Ministry came up with e-NAM under its market reforms efforts. The initiative aims to ensure transparency, instant payments and reduction of commission cost to farmers. This will also enable farmers to offer their produce to buyers all over India.

Introduced in the NTR Mirchi yard in September last year, farmers said that the e-NAM system was leading to delay in their payments as the money had to be transferred digitally.

In October last year, traders and commission agents protested against the system’s implementation as it made dealing with cash much harder.

Opposing the government’s move, traders and commission agents stalled transactions in the market yard which sees trading of 1.5 lakh quintals of chilli per day.

Commission agents who work with farmers and traders, ensure that farmers get loans with interest till the crop reaches the yard and is sold.

Since the E-NAM policy came into force on September 1, the traders have stopped trading. This has meant that neither is the farmers’ produce getting sold nor are they being given loans, thereby leaving them in the lurch.. 

However, officials insisted that the system would continue to be in place.

The government maintains that the new policy will help farmers get the best price for their produce since it allows multiple traders to be involved in the bidding process, while activists say that it ultimately affects the farmers and "disrupts" local markets.

 

Read: 37 days and counting: Andhra mirchi farmers left jobless due to govt’s new e-marketing policy

 

 

 

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.