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Despite farmer agitation, govt-run Kisan eMart is a hit


Kisan e-Mart transaction values have touched nearly Rs 25 lakh so far, data showed, with scores of farmers flocking to the government-run online platform even as farmer protests continue in the country.

The platform, which helps farmers sell their produce directly to buyers, was launched last year with a pilot project in Maharashtra.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT, which has backed the venture, is now trying to expand it across the country through its network of about 400,000 common service centres (CSCs), most of which are in rural areas.

The CSC Kisan eMart is currently operational in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh (UP), Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura.

The platform is unique as it deals directly with farmers and no intermediary is permitted, said government officials. It also provides an alternative to local mandis, they said.

The village level entrepreneur who operates the CSC helps the farmer with technical issues like connecting with the buyer, using technology to survey the quality of the produce and collecting money, which is received in the CSC’s escrow account and released to the farmer as soon as the produce is shipped.

Dinesh Tyagi, managing director of CSC e-governance Services, told ET that one of the biggest success stories of the initiative was that of a farmer in UP who – finding no buyers for his crop – had destroyed half his produce.

“We learnt of this incident through the local CSC and connected him to a buyer who bought the remaining produce,” he said.

In another instance, a farmer was forced to sell cauliflowers for one rupee a kilogram due to low local demand, but the Kisan e-Mart identified a buyer who purchased it for Rs 12 per kg for sale in Delhi-NCR.

“The technology infrastructure is all there now, and it can enable every farmer to find a better market and price for his product,” Tyagi said.

Farmers do not have to worry about logistics and shipping since the buyer takes care of it. Since more than 16 million farmers have availed of some service or the other through CSCs across the country, they would have a good rapport with the village level entrepreneur who facilitates the transaction, he said.

The services include registration for schemes like Kisan Samman Nidhi (cash support by government), PM Kisan Samman Yojna (a pension scheme), soil health card, delivery of fertiliser and seeds and advisory services through teleconsultation with Krishi Vikas Kendra Scientists.

Tyagi said the government is gearing up to roll out the facility across the country soon.

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