New Delhi [India], April 13 (ANI): Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday virtually inaugurated e-SANTA, an electronic marketplace providing a platform to connect aqua farmers and buyers.
Speaking on the occasion, Goyal said e-SANTA will raise income, lifestyle, self-reliance, quality levels, traceability, and provide new options for the aqua farmers.
According to an official release of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the platform will enable the farmers to get a better price and the exporters to directly purchase quality products from the farmers enhancing traceability, a key factor in international trade.
Goyal said the e-SANTA platform will change the traditional way of carrying out business from a word of mouth basis to become more formalised and legally binding.
"e-SANTA will RAISE the lives and income of farmers by -- reducing risk, awareness of products and markets, increase in income, shielding against the wrong practice, and ease of processes," the Minister said.
The Minister said e-SANTA is a digital bridge to end the market divide and will act as an alternative marketing tool between farmers and buyers by eliminating middlemen.
"It will revolutionize traditional aquafarming by providing cashless, contactless and paperless electronic trade platform between farmers and exporters. e-SANTA can become a tool to advertise collectively the kind of products the buyers, fishermen and fish producing organisations are harvesting, so people in India and internationally can know what is available and in the future, it can become an auction platform," he added.
According to the ministry, the term e-SANTA was coined for the web portal, meaning Electronic Solution for Augmenting NaCSA farmers' Trade-in Aquaculture.
National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA) is an extension arm of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), the government of India, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Notably, e-SANTA is a completely paperless and end-to-end electronic trade platform between farmers and exporters. The ministry said the platform is available in many languages, which will help the local population.
"The farmers have the freedom to list their produce and quote their price while the exporters have the freedom to list their requirements and also to choose the products based on their requirements such as desired size, location, harvest dates among other things. This enables the farmers and buyers to have greater control over the trade and enables them to make informed decisions," the ministry said.
The platform provides a detailed specification of each product listing and it is backed by an end-to-end electronic payment system with NaCSA as an Escrow agent. After crop listing and online negotiation, a deal is struck, advance payment is made and an estimated invoice is generated.
"Once the harvest date is fixed, the buyer goes to the farm gate and the produce is harvested in his presence. After the harvest is completed, the final count, quantity of material is verified, the final amount is decided and the delivery challan is issued. Once the material reaches the processing plant, the final invoice is generated and the exporter makes the balance payment. This payment is reflected in the escrow account. NaCSA verifies it and accordingly releases the payment to farmers," it added. (ANI)