Govt hikes paddy MSP by Rs 65/qtl to offset rains delay
In its bid to give a major boost to farmers across the country impacted by the delayed onset of the southwest monsoon and scanty rainfall, the Modi Government has raised the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy, a key kharif crop, by 3.7 per cent from Rs 1,750 to Rs 1,815 per quintal for the 2019-20 crop season.
The MSP for paddy (grade A) saw an increase of Rs 65 per quintal. Paddy is the main kharif crop, the sowing of which begins with the onset of southwest monsoon. Despite a below-normal monsoon last year, there was a record rice output of 115.63 million tonne due to increased support price. This year too, the rice output is likely to be on the higher side.
Due to delayed rains, the total area sown to kharif crops was down at 146.61 lakh hectares till last week as against last year’s 162.07 lakh hectare, as per Agriculture Ministry data.
The MSP of tur (arhar), moong and urad pulses also have been raised by Rs 125, Rs 75 and Rs 100, respectively, for the 2019-20 crop season. The MSP of arhar increased from Rs 5,675 to Rs 5,800 per quintal; moong from Rs 6,975 to 7,050 per quintal and urad from Rs 5,600 to Rs 5,700 per quintal.
The decision was taken at the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday which approved the hikes in MSP. The move will lead to increased investment and production through assured remunerative prices to the farmers.
The increase in MSP for kharif crops is in line with the principle of fixing the MSPs at a level of at least 1.5 times of the all India weighted average cost of production which was announced in the Union Budget for 2018-19.
After the CCEA meeting, Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the monsoon has been delayed this year and it is worrisome for the farmers as well as the Government. “But according to the weather department’s forecast, the situation would improve and the monsoon would be normal,” Tomar said.
As per Cabinet decision, the minimum support price, which the Centre guarantees to pay to farmers, has also been raised in case of groundnut by Rs 200 a quintal and soyabean by Rs 311. In addition, medium cotton MSP has been raised by Rs 105 quintal and long cotton MSP by Rs 100 a quintal. The highest percentage return to farmers over their cost of production is for bajra (85 per cent) followed by urad (64 per cent) and tur (60 per cent).
The MSP for jowar has been increased by Rs 120 per quintal from Rs 2,430 to Rs 2,550, and ragi by Rs 253 per quintal from Rs 2,897 and Rs 3,150. The move comes against the backdrop of the need to promote cultivation and consumption of nutri-cereals. Besides, India celebrated 2018 as the National Year of Millets and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Council has approved India’s proposal to observe an International Year of Millets in 2023.
As many as 26 out of the total 36 subdivisions of the country are facing deficient rainfall, with the overall monsoon deficit standing at 28 per cent. Rains have been below normal in West Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, where the deficit is more than 60 per cent.
The country has so far received 138 mm rainfall against the normal of 191.6 mm. As on July 3, the monsoon is yet to cover Punjab, Haryana, and parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Tomar said the Centre has increased the MSP of kharif crops for 2019-20 in line with the principle of fixing MSPs at a level which is at least 1.5 times the cost of production, which was announced last year.
The MSP mechanism provides a price guarantee to the farmers for their produce. This is implemented across the country as nearly 86 per cent farmers are in small and marginal category.
Thursday, 04 July 2019 | PNS | New Delhi
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