e-Tendering: A Boon For Farmers
According to a report of Ministry of Agriculture, as much as 3313 farmers in India took their own lives in last three years due to agrarian reasons. These figures are disturbing; given the fact that agriculture sector still supports roughly 70% of country’s population. 2014 alone witnessed 1357 such suicides. Maharashtra, Telangana and Karnataka are the worst hit. Upon analyzing the reason of these suicides, it becomes clear that farmers’ earning is not in tune with their spending and expectations. To make agriculture profitable for farmers, the government needs to ensure that they get fitting price for their crop.
The digitization of the tendering and payment process can come to rescue of farmers who are in distress. One stride towards this objective was the inauguration of e-payment and e-tendering facilities in Hubballi Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee in state of Karnataka. This e-payment and e-tendering system is expected to help farmers make more profit from their produce by elimination of middlemen and the irregularities in the system. Furthermore, it would make the whole process less time taking and hassle-free. Many states such as Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha and Rajasthan have expressed their intent to implement this model.
Shri Radha Mohan Singh, the Union Agriculture Minister, along with agriculture ministers of 23 States and Union Territories was in Hubballi to understand the functioning of online trading in APMCs implemented by Karnataka State Government.
E-tendering has proved to be extremely beneficial in diverse sectors. According to an estimate e-Tendering can reduce the time span of procurement process by 30%. E-tendering has been effective in curbing the rampant corruption in tendering processes by introducing transparency and accountability to the whole procedure. The number of steps involved in e-tendering process is far less than the steps in manual process, which results in great amount of cost cutting. Once this e-tendering and e-payment facility is implemented across the country, it is sure to bring about an appreciable change in the living standards of farmers and thus decrease farmer suicides significantly.