New Delhi, Jan 28 (PTI) Karnataka, the first state to start its own e-trading in agri-commodities, is now ready to set up much advanced online platform e-NAM developed by the Centre, a senior agriculture ministry official said Monday.

In 2014-15, online trading in Karnataka’s wholesale mandis called Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) commenced via the Rashtriya e-Market Services (ReMS), a joint venture of the state and NCDEX Spot Exchange. So far, ReMS is operational in 162 mandis in the state.

The central government launched the electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) — an initiative to connect APMC mandis across the country and establish one unified electronic spot market — in April 2016.

Trading in 585 mandis is currently taking place on the e-NAM network in 16 states and 2 Union territories (UTs), helping discover price in real time in a transparent manner.

“After much persuasion, Karnataka government has agreed to set up e-NAM platform in two mandis including one in Chincholi taluk in Gulbarga. We have given approval,” Joint Secretary (marketing) in the agriculture ministry Prasanta Kumar Swain told PTI.

There are about 164 major APMC mandis in Karnataka, out of which the state has connected 162 mandis through its ReMS and in the rest two, it wants to try e-NAM network, he said.

The official further said e-NAM has been updated with additional features and services, much better than what the Karnataka government is offering through its ReMS.

For instance, there is closed bidding on ReMS at present unlike the visible bidding process undertaken on the e-NAM platform where farmers can see the rates on their mobile phones. There is also integration of assaying besides other facilities, he added.

Currently, seven other states — Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Uttarakhand — are also working on the modalities to establish inter-state trade on e-NAM.

The central government aims to integrate 200 mandis this year and another 215 next year with the e-NAM platform. There are about 2,700 APMC mandis and 4,000 sub-market yards in India.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.