Activities to be undertaken (e-marketing)

The initial phase will be to examine the options, policy implications, alternative technological solutions and the emergence of international best practices so that the MSAMB can make informed decisions as to roll-out the program. This feasibility study would be conducted in the first year of the Project.

The Phase 2 will involve design, development and pilot testing of two alternative virtual market platforms. During pilot testing feedback of Project team, MSAMB officials and users will be collected and accordingly changes will be made in the software to start full fledge operations of virtual market. Virtual market platform should have facility of broadcasting SMS. The details of items of expenditure in this component are as follows.

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The initial phase will be to examine the options, policy implications, alternative technological solutions and the emergence of international best practices so that the MSAMB can make informed decisions as to roll-out the program. This feasibility study would be conducted in the first year of the Project.

The Phase 2 will involve design, development and pilot testing of two alternative virtual market platforms. During pilot testing feedback of Project team, MSAMB officials and users will be collected and accordingly changes will be made in the software to start full fledge operations of virtual market. Virtual market platform should have facility of broadcasting SMS. The details of items of expenditure in this component are as follows.

 
The Phase 3 will involve the large-scale implementation of the preferred technical solution and its integration into the MSAMB web site so that it can deliver both services – e-trading and information dissemination, both via internet and cell phones. The essential features for e- Commerce mechanism are web site, merchant account, e-commerce software, internet server, shopping carts, security protocols and digital signatures.
The selected technology would then be commercialized with the Marketing Board and its software as the platform for trade, while the management of the individual e-trading would be by the private sector. It is envisaged that the system would enable producers, user organizations, electronic traders and existing traders to be able to offer product to the market and that a system would be in place that would enable buyers and sellers to broadcast buying needs and product requirements to one another. Under an electronic trading platform, there are possibilities for secured buying processes to be put in place and it is envisaged that traders would subscribe to the service and the cess income would cover the private management costs as well as provide an income stream for the State Government. The business case for the operation of e-trade facility will be monitored by the ABPF, lessons learnt and best practices will form the core of a training course for future e-traders.

It is envisaged that 294 locations in Maharashtra will be identified for Virtual Market piloting. These locations may be within the APMC yard or out side APMC yard. The private player will be selected. PIU MSAMB will give an advertisement in the newspaper for selection of private player. The private player should obtain license of e-trading from Director of Marketing as per The Maharashtra Agricultural Produce Marketing (Development and Regulation) Rules, 1967. Training about virtual market will be given to the license holders of e-trading by the SP. The estimated cost for providing computers and peripherals would be Rs.294.00 Lakhs @ Rs.1 Lakh per location. APMC / MSAMB will lease out this facility to the e-trading license holder who will register buyers, sellers and undertake e-trading of agricultural commodities. Charges for registration can be taken from buyers and farmers / sellers. As per the provisions of the Agriculture Produce Marketing (Development & Regulation) Rules, 1967, the e-trading license holder will collect 1% cess, which will be shared as 75% by APMC and 25% by e-trading license holder. In addition 0.05% will be collected from buyers by e-trading license holder and will be paid to the State Govt. as supervision charges.

Virtual market can be operated with one computer, broad band Internet facility, UPS and software which will be provided under the Project. DDRCs will procure these equipment for the locations in the districts and will be provided to e trading license holder selected on the terms and conditions which will be decided on the basis of recommendations of SP. The maintenance will be the responsibility of the e-trading license holder. After 5 years period the license holder will have to have his/her  own equipment, if he/she wants to continue his business. As the MSAMB is providing e-trading platform services to e-trading license holders, MSAMB will charge nominal membership to be paid every year. The norms of the membership charges will be worked out by the SP. The license holders, who do not require equipment under the project, can avail membership of MSAMB platform on payment of their charges. 

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