MSP no re­lief to farm­ers as mandi prices rule lower

Farm­ers yet to re­alise the promised ‘higher than pro­duc­tion cost’ sup­port prices

The Hindu Business Line - - COMMODITIES -

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.

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