HDFC Bank, India’s leading private sector bank today announced its integration with the Government of India’s e-National Agriculture Market (eNAM) to enable digital collections and settlement of funds to various e-NAM beneficiaries.
Launched in 2016, with Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) as the nodal implementing agency under the aegis of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, e-NAM is an online trading platform that facilitates online transaction of agricultural commodities for farmers, traders, farmer producer organisations (FPOs) and other stakeholders.
Conventionally, farmers would travel miles with the agricultural produce to the nearest Mandi, from their villages. This technological intervention has brought a paradigm shift in agricultural trade in the country. Currently, e-NAM is integrated with 1,000 Mandis across India.
HDFC Bank has partnered with the SFAC to further improve the ease of doing business on e-NAM platform by offering the collection modes such as Net Banking, Debit Card, NEFT/RTGS, UPI/IMPS through integration with eNAM.
Farmers utilising the e-NAM platform simply need to upload the required KYC details to get registered. Details of their produce (Lot Id) and quality assaying certificate is uploaded by the Mandi before the e-bidding process. Once the sale bill is finalised, they can easily receive payment using the robust system provided by HDFC Bank.
The bank further supports the farmers with its over 5,000 branch network. With over 50 per cent of its branches in semi-urban and rural areas, the bank gives the farmers and traders access to its banking services to support their trading activities on the eNAM platform, even in remote geographies.
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This integration helps not only farmers but also farmer producer organisations (FPO), commission agents, institutional buyers and other Mandi level service providers who form part of the entire agriculture value chain. In addition to collections, the platform enables an automated settlement mechanism without any manual intervention to the beneficiary accounts.
Speaking on the partnership, Neelkamal Darbari, Managing Director, Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium said, “I expect that this tie-up with HDFC Bank will benefit the farmers across the country as they will be able to do business transactions from the place of their convenience.”
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with SFAC to offer our banking services for the eNAM platform. It allows us to support farmers by enabling them to receive their payments in a seamless manner and offer ease of doing business to them,” said Sunali Rohra, Executive Vice President, Government & Institutional Business & Gig Banking, HDFC Bank. “At HDFC Bank, we have pioneered building partnerships with the government. In 2001, we were appointed as the first agency bank to digitise tax collections for the Central Board of Direct Taxes. Based on this experience two other banks were inducted in 2003. Today, as the second-largest agency bank in India for tax collection, we strongly believe that partnership between the government and private players has the power to transform lives,” Rohra added.
As of 2021, there are over 1.7 crore farmers and over 1.8 lakh traders who are registered on National Agriculture Market and have benefitted from the digital marketplace. The total value of agri-produce traded on eNAM is approximately Rs. 1.3 lakh crore till FY 2020-21. There are over 1000 mandis that are already integrated with the platform and the government has already announced in the Budget speech that another 1,000 mandis would be integrated over the next 2–3 years.
The Bank also handles around nine per cent of total direct benefit transfer (DBT) payments to the beneficiaries of various government schemes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (PMAY) and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMSKY).
SFAC is also implementing CSS on “Formation & Promotion of 10,000 FPOs” across the country. FPOs onboarding on e-NAM shall enhance the participation of small and marginal farmers on the e-NAM platform to further increase their farm income.