Electronic trading platform for farmers

Updated 14 April 2016
0

Electronic trading platform for farmers

NEW DELHI: India has launched an electronic trading platform for farm goods to improve transparency in wholesale markets and help farmers fetch better prices for their produce.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, inaugurating the platform, said it would trade products from 365 wholesale markets initially but aims to increase that to 585 by March 2018.
“This initiative will usher in transparency which will greatly benefit the farmer,” Modi said.
“This scheme naturally benefits farmers, but it also benefits other stakeholders, and consumers.”
Analysts have welcomed the new platform, but say it has limitations. For example, India has 7,000 wholesale markets and only 8 percent of them will use the trading platform.
A law, dating back more than 50 years, had stipulated that farmers must sell their produce at regulated wholesale markets, where an opaque system of auction by cartels of traders leaves farmers with little bargaining power.
The Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act was originally introduced to protect farmers from rich landlords. But it led to the creation of a layer of middlemen in these markets, who take a hefty cut, depriving farmers of a better price and also inflating the cost of farm goods.
Even big retailers like Reliance Industries, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Shoppers’ Stop and Britain’s Tesco Plc are required to procure products from such regulated markets.
Since taking office in May 2014, Modi has urged Indian states to amend the APMC Act to facilitate the online trading of crops. However, eight of India’s 29 states have not agreed to adopt electronic trading, which means that farmers in those states will lose out.
Initially 25 commodities including rice, corn, wheat, oilseeds and a few other vegetables and spices will be traded on the platform.
The 21 states that have agreed to connect their wholesale markets to the e-platform include key agricultural states Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat.


US intelligence says Huawei funded by Chinese state security: report

Updated 20 April 2019
0

US intelligence says Huawei funded by Chinese state security: report

  • The accusation comes at a time of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing
  • Huawei dismissed the allegations

US intelligence has accused Huawei Technologies of being funded by Chinese state security, The Times said on Saturday, adding to the list of allegations faced by the Chinese technology company in the West.
The CIA accused Huawei of receiving funding from China’s National Security Commission, the People’s Liberation Army and a third branch of the Chinese state intelligence network, the British newspaper reported, citing a source.
Earlier this year, US intelligence shared its claims with other members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing group, which includes Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, according to the report.
Huawei dismissed the allegations in a statement cited by the newspaper.
“Huawei does not comment on unsubstantiated allegations backed up by zero evidence from anonymous sources,” a Huawei representative told The Times.
The company, the CIA and Chinese state security agencies did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
The accusation comes at a time of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing and amid concerns in the United States that Huawei’s equipment could be used for espionage. The company has said the concerns are unfounded.
Authorities in the United States are probing Huawei for alleged sanctions violations.
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of its founder, Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada in December at the request of the United States on charges of bank and wire fraud in violation of US sanctions against Iran.
She denies wrongdoing and her father has previously said the arrest was “politically motivated.”
Amid such charges, top educational institutions in the West have recently severed ties with Huawei to avoid losing federal funding.
Another Chinese technology company, ZTE Corp. , has also been at the center of similar controversies in the United States.
US sanctions forced ZTE to stop most business between April and July last year after Commerce Department officials said it broke a pact and was caught illegally shipping US-origin goods to Iran and North Korea. The sanctions were lifted after ZTE paid $1.4 billion in penalties.
Reuters reported earlier this week that the United States will push its allies at a meeting in Prague next month to adopt shared security and policy measures that will make it more difficult for Huawei to dominate 5G telecommunications networks.