MSP no relief to farmers as mandi prices rule lower
Farmers yet to realise the promised ‘higher than production cost’ support prices
The government’s decision to have higher minimum support price (MSP) for crops does not seem to have addressed the woes of farmers, going by the prices of fresh arrivals in mandis in various States.
In most mandis across the country, where kharif crops have just started arriving, prices remain muted and below the floor prices announced by the Government in July. Barring cotton, the price of which is around the MSP on account of an anticipated shortfall in production, all agri commodities are lower for farmers.
“Pulses crops and coarse cereals seem to be the worst affected. Their prices are nearly 25 per cent lower than the MSPs announced by the government with much fanfare,” said Santveer Singh, a farmer leader from Rajasthan and a national core committee member of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh (RKMM). What is the point in having MSP, when the governments
Pulses and coarse cereals are the worst affected. Their prices are nearly 25 per cent lower than support prices
have no plans to procure these commodities from farmers, Singh asked.
Ashok Tiwari, MP Kisan Sabha secretary said, “Look at bajra, for which the government claimed it has hiked MSP to 95 per cent over cost of production to ₹1,950 a quintal. In Madhya Pradesh, bajra is being sold at ₹1,200.”.
Ram Narain Kukeria, a farmer leader from Jabalpur region in MP said, “The prices are expected to fall further when arrivals pick up after Dussehra and Diwali.”
Rahul Raj, national president of RKMM youth wing, who is currently leading a state-wide march in MP to highlight the plight of farmers in the State, alleged the Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana, which the current BJP government in the State implemented two years ago helps only the traders, not farmers. Under the scheme, financial assistance (in the form of a price differential between MSP and market price) is extended only on a limited quantity of notified agricultural commodities, and the farmer is forced to sell the rest of the produce at prices decided by traders. Raj, an engineer-turned farmer leader said, “Since the scheme was launched two years ago, the market prices of the commodities have been falling.”
“You can very well imagine what would be the plight of farmers in other parts of the country as the Central government has picked it up as one of three schemes under its umbrella initiative called PM ASHAA,” he said.