Redeeming its promise of fixing the MSPs at a level of at least 150 percent of the cost of production, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices for all kharif crops for 2018-19 season on Wednesday.
“It is historic”, said several cooperators led by IFFCO MD Dr U S Awasthi who have been involved for decades with the affairs of farmers. Awasthi also tweeted in Hindi congratulating the Prime Minister and calling this step as historic. “This is a paradigm shift”, others echoed.
“The increase in the MSPs of Niger seed at Rs.1827 per quintal, moong by Rs.1400 per quintal, sunflower seed by Rs.1288 per quintal and cotton by Rs 130 per quintal is unprecedented”, noted the govt agencies.
Amongst cereals and nutri cereals, MSP has been raised by Rs 200 per quintal, jowar (hybrid) by Rs 730 per quintal and ragi by Rs 997 per quintal. The highest percentage increase in MSP over the previous year is for ragi (52.47 %) followed by jowar hybrid (42.94%). For pulses, apart from Moong, MSP of arhar (tur) has been raised by Rs 225 per quintal yielding a return over cost by 65.36 per cent and urad by Rs 200 per quintal with a return over cost by 62.89 per cent in order to maintain inter-crop-price parity.
Food Corporation of India (FCI) and other designated State Agencies would continue to provide price support to the farmers in the case of cereals. National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED), FCI, Small Farmers Agri -Business Consortium (SFAC) and other designated Central Agencies would continue to undertake procurement of pulses and oilseeds.
Besides increase in Minimum Support Prices (MSP) of kharif crops, the government has also taken several farmer friendly initiatives such as launching a Mobile App “Crop Insurance” to help farmers to find out complete details about insurance cover available in their area and to calculate the insurance premium for notified crops.
A dedicated online interface e-Krishi Samvad provides direct and effective solutions to problems faced by farmers.
The government is encouraging formation of Farmer Producer Organisations. The Budget for 2018-19 has extended a favorable taxation treatment to Farmer Producers Organisations (FPQs) for helping farmers aggregate their needs of inputs, farm services, processing and sale operations.
The past experience has indicated that increasing MSP is not adequate. For the farmers to get full benefit of the announced MSP, it is essential that if price of the agriculture produce market is less than MSP, then Government should purchase either at MSP or work in a manner to provide MSP for the farmers through some other mechanism.
NITI Aayog, in consultation with Central and State Governments, will put in place a fool-proof mechanism so that farmers will get adequate price for their produce, read the govt release.
With the above measures taken, the Government has set a target to double the farmers’ Income by 2022, claimed PIB release.