After Maize and Mangoes, Odisha’s farmers to now sell Sweet Potatoes online!

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Until 2 years back, the Maize growers of Odisha’s Nabarangpur district had little option but to sell their produce in local markets during glut season due to a lack of access to distant markets. This changed in Dec 2015 when the Odisha State Agricultural Marketing Board (OSAMB) launched a Market Access Project in Nabarangpur and roped in NeML to provide an e-trading platform to improve market access and facilitate direct sale. NeML’s online auction platform was an instant success with Nabarangpur’s Maize growers as they were able to enhance their realisations through better price discovery and direct sale of their produce to the highest bidder.

Inspired from the success in Nabarangpur, the Dhenkanal (District) Fruit and Vegetable Market Co-operative Society partnered with NeML for a pilot project to sell Mangoes to distant markets. NeML’s platform proved to be a success once again as more than 11,000 Kgs. of different varieties of mangoes like Langra, Dushehari and Amrapalli were sold to far flung markets of Hyderabad, Ranchi, Kolkata, Gulbarga and Mumbai, fetching approximately 60% higher prices than before.

Buoyed by this back-to-back success, OSAMB has decided to work closely with NeML to launch similar Market Access Projects in 7 new markets of Odisha, starting from the district of Dhenkanal. Odisha is the largest producer of Sweet Potatoes in India with the Dhenkanal district’s contribution being the highest in the State. Around 1000 acres of farm area is used for cultivating Sweet Potatoes in Dhenkanal and despite it’s strong demand across the country, the farmers were forced to sell their produce of Sweet Potatoes in the local markets due to the lack of an organized marketing system and proper storage facilities. This is set to change as a new APMC yard with a 500 MT Warehouse was inaugurated in Dhenkanal last week on 12th July.

The inauguration was attended by the Dhenkanal’s Member of Parliament (MP) – Shri Tathagat Satpathy, MLA – Shri S. K. Shyamal, Sub Collector – Shri A. Pattanaik, Municipality Chairman – Shri N Dolai, Management Team of the new APMC and NeML’s Operations Team. Post inauguration, the farmers were briefed about NeML’s e-trading platform and detailed training sessions have been scheduled in due course.

The new Warehouse facility and NeML’s e-trading platform is expected to provide relief to more than 1000 small and marginal farmers who can now directly sell their produce to distant markets which were inaccessible earlier.

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