Economy News

Govt launches digital gateway for farmers to access pledge finance

The gateway provides details of loans offered by various banks.

To enable farmers to access pledge finance against the harvested commodities, the government on Monday launched an online digital gateway e-Upaja Kisaan Nidhu which would allow storage of agricultural produce with the Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) and obtain post-harvest loans from the banks.

Food minister Piyush Goyal said that the online gateway developed jointly by the department of food and public distribution, department of financial services and Nabard with its simplified digital process can ease the procedure of farmers’ storage at any WDRA registered warehouse for a period of six months at 7% interest per annum.

After harvesting season, when usually prices of the commodities decline, farmers can deposit their commodities at the around 5600 odd WDRA registered warehouses and generate electronic – negotiable warehousing receipts (e-NWR) for accessing bank credit for the next crop.

Goyal said “with its no collateral, extra security deposit policy can prevent distress sale by farmers who often have to sell their entire harvest at cheaper rates due to poor post-harvest storage opportunities,”.

Officials said that farmers getting loans against stored commodities also provide liquidity in hands of farmers at the time of harvest of the produce by availing pledge finance facility and they can sell it when prices are remunerativas.

The warehouses charge Rs 7/quintal per month for storing the commodities.

The digital gateway authenticates farmers’ details through an integrated database of unique identification authority of India, central board of direct tax, repository and CIBIL scores. The gateway provides details of loans offered by various banks.

Goyal also urged WDRA to waive off the security fee for storing agri produce of small farmers to avail credit from banks. Currently the farmers stocking their produce at these warehouses would need to pay only 1% of the value of their produce as security deposit instead of earlier practice of 3%.

Since April, 2020, eNWR has been integrated with a digital wholesale agri-marketing platform – electronic – National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) where receipts are traded on the digital interface.

Goyal said through the digital gateway of WDRA and e-NAM, farmers can sell their commodities above the minimum support price (MSP).

Earlier WDRA waived the application fee for the registration of warehouses storing agricultural commodities of farmers till October 25, 2025.

Currently, each warehouse levies a non-refundable fee between Rs 5,000 to Rs 30,000 for capacity between 500 to 25000 tonnes as an application fee for registration or renewal of warehouses storing only agriculture commodities.

So far 5634 warehouses are registered with WDRA. Out of 0.1 million agri-warehouses in the country, 40,000 are privately held.

In the current fiscal, a record 1900 odd storage facilities for agricultural commodities have been registered with the authority.

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