Govt mulls changes to farm sup­port prices

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Zia Haq zia.haq@hin­dus­tan­

NEW DELHI: The govern­ment could move away from large hikes in sup­port prices for farm­ers, agri­cul­ture min­is­ter Radha Mo­han Singh hinted on Wed­nes­day, sig­nalling a key farm pol­icy shift aimed at ra­tio­nal­is­ing sub­si­dies and tam­ing in­fla­tion.

The min­is­ter said some peo­ple thought the “only way to shore up farmer in­come is through min­i­mum sup­port prices”.

“Wrong. This alone won’t do un­less farm­ers diver­sify their ac­tiv­i­ties into live­stock, kitchen gar­dens, fish­ery etc. That’s our fo­cus,” Singh said dur­ing a free-wheel­ing web chat with farm­ers.

MSP is the price set by the govern­ment for var­i­ous farm com­modi­ties, which help boost farmer in­come by act­ing as a floor price for pri­vate traders. Farm­ers also tend to fo­cus on those crops which fetch higher MSPs.

Since com­ing to power, the Naren­dra Modi govern­ment has opted for more mod­er­ate MSP hikes over­all in a bid to tame in­fla­tion. Pulses and oilseeds, two scarce items, have been an ex­cep­tion. CON­TIN­UED ON P10

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