Agriculture Policy Briefing

With System to Guarantee Quality Not in Place, a Rough Switch to e-Trading At Guntur Chilly Yard, Says Indian Express

Rows of chilly drying at the Byadgi market in Karnataka. This is a rival to the market in  Guntur.

An article in the Indian Express shows that a mere change of platform from offline to online does not an electronic National Agricultural Market (e-NAM) make; related processes need to change as well.

Just as bank computerisation did not mean equipping clerks with computers but getting machines to dispense cash, keep records of transactions, and with the spread of the Internet enabling “anywhere” banking, so also the Prime Minister’s much-touted e-NAM should enable traders to buy from anywhere in the country with the assurance they are getting what they paid for.

Sreenivas Janyala reports that Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, which is Asia’s largest market yard for chillies, has seen little trading from 1 September, when it went online. “The chilli yard’s sprawling auction sheds have, in fact, not seen a single trade for almost a month,” Janyala writes.

Traders do not want to switch over from the word-of-mouth, unwritten rules-based system. But there is also the issue of “vishwasam” or trust. In the offline system, the commission agent guaranteed the quality. But on the electronic platform there is no quality assurance system.

Farmers are not willing to go through the tedium of opening up chilly bags for samples to be drawn for testing. Without assaying and grading, and quality certification by a third party,  electronic trading  cannot happen.

A leading trader, the report says, estimates that 55 lakh kg of chilly is lying unsold in cold storages in and around Guntur. Prices have fallen from Rs 13,000 a quintal last year to Rs 7,000. The rates are higher than Rs 5,000 that prevailed in April because of over-production. But with little trading taking place, farmers are unable to sell even at the depressed prices.

(Rows of chilly drying at Guntur’s rival, Byadgi market in Karnataka).

Email This Page

Leave a Comment


Hit Counter provided by technology news
Web Design MymensinghPremium WordPress ThemesWeb Development

I Do Not Understand Bt Cotton technology; I Know It Works

Kallanagouda PatilY Kallanagouda Patil, 46, of Uppinbetegeri village in Dharwad taluk  owns 52 acres jointly with his three brothers. He holds a diploma in agriculture from a school in Raichur. Patil grows cotton on ten acres, apart from sugarcane, potato, Bengal gram, jowar, tur,moong and vegetables. He uses groundwater to irrigate his fields. The water is drawn from a depth of 280 feet. Electricity is free so he flood irrigates the fields, except the one under banana  where he uses drip irrigation. He does not micro-irrigate cotton because it is closely planted and has to make way for another crop after eight months. This farmer has his cost all worked out. Making quick mental calculations, he estimates the cost of cotton crop at Rs 22,500 an acre and the realization from 17 quintals an acre at Rs 68,000. He had planted Bayer seed. ‘I do not understand technology, he says, all I know is if I use Bt seed there will be no

Pests Snack on Chilly But Not Cotton

RudagiF Basavaraj Rudagi, 48, did not grow cotton before 2008. This farmer from Saundhi village in Dharwad district’s Kundogol taluk made a partial switch to Bt cotton as chilly was susceptible to pest attack and yield was declining. From five acres in 2009, Rudagi had fifteen of a forty acre joint farm under cotton this year, when smartindianagriculture  caught up with him in February. He tried out Bayer in a change from Mahyco and Raasi seed. Rudagi says he got 11.5 quintals (100 kg) an acre from his rain-fed crop and at Rs 4,050 a quintal, his realization was a little over Rs 46,000. The cost, he says, is Rs 26,000 an acre, excluding rental earnings had he leased out the land. This does not mesh with the profit he claims he makes, but then he admits to not keeping crop-wise accounts. Rudagi also grows peanuts, coriander, gram, safflower and jowar. There is safety in diversity. And yes he plants pigeon pea or tur around the cotton crop for bollworms to feed on so they are not forced by the survival instinct to develop resistance to Bt protein.  In this sense he is quite a cut apart. Low cotton prices are worrying but what is the alternative?