Friday, December 9, 2016

e-Kharid – Haryana’s Digital Procurement Tool

The positive effect of Demonetisation

On 26th Septmember, 2016 Haryana Government launched a Mobile APP in Google Playstore named e-Kharid.

The launch program was presided over by Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar at Karnal, Haryana.   Karnal  is a city located in the NCR and the headquarters of Karnal District. It is one of the Counter-Magnet cities.

The primary objective of e-Kharid is to bring in transparency in the food grains procurement process across the procurement channel.

The main focus is in providing real time information and timely payment. These twin aims is to enable the growers to get the best price for their produce with minimal pain.

The e-Kharid program has two access points a) Portal b) Mobile App. The “e-Kharid” portal is a joint initiative of the Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board and the Department of Food & Supplies, Govt. of Haryana.

According to J Ganesan, Chief Administrator, Haryana State Marketing Board, said it would extend ease of doing business to the traders and empower the farmers by providing them real time information and timely payment.

Ganesan said a mobile app which would make the system paperless and hassle free will be launched, too.

With the help of this system, the procurement agencies would disburse payments to arthias instead of age old paper and stamp system.

A toll free number 18001802060 would be available for any kind of help, queries and grievances, he maintained.

With the help of ‘e-Kharid’, all the stake holders, including farmers, traders and government agencies, farmers, traders and purchasers, would get instant alerts on each and every transaction.

The state government’s ‘e-kharid’ initiative supplements National Agriculture Marketing, a pan-India electronic trading portal of existing APMC ‘mandis’, to bring efficiency and transparency in procurement of agricultural commodities.

As per latest news,  Haryana has procured Rs 2,500-crore worth of kharif crops, including paddy, cotton, bajra, guar and oilseeds, through the e-purchase platform.

In the current season, paddy worth Rs 1,500 crore and other cash crops worth Rs 1,000 crore were procured online.

The online procurement process was made optional for the current season by the Haryana government after ‘aarthiyas’ and commission agents sought more time to adapt to the automated process. The aarthiyas had expressed concern over the money given as advance to farmers and objected to direct payment to farmers.

The direct payment system to farmers was objected by the traditional aarthiyas and commission agents. Educational programs are being run to encourage them to adopt to the new procurement process.

Officials maintained that direct payments are likely to be introduced by rabi season when mainly wheat is bought by government agencies.

By the following rabi marketing season, about 54 more mandis are being targeted to be covered under the online scheme. “It will bring mandis in half of Haryana under the ambit of e-kharid,” said J Ganesan, chief administrator, Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board.

Under e-kharid, an auction recorder digitises data, including credentials of a farmer, the linked Aadhaar number and bank account details, through handheld device. An auto generated gate pass receipt is issued and the device also registers the login ID of an aarthiya selected by the farmer.

Traditionally Aarthiyas or Commission Agents are the link between Grower and the Buyers. The Aarthiyas usually get a commission from both the buyers and the sellers. In some cases, they also finance the farmers. These financing locks up the farmers with the respective Aarthiyas and the farmers are obliged to bring their produce to the particular aarthiya only.

The e-Kharid program does not aim to replace the aarthiya, rather its focuses on brining in transparency and timely payment to the farmers.

Additional reading material:

Role of Commission Agents In Marketing Agricultural Products

Who is the “arthi”: Understanding the commission agent’s role in the agriculture supply chain