At a time when the opposition is trying to spread panic and rumour among farmers saying that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) will end, the government is procuring food grains in record quantities contrary to all the allegations. In the previous brief, we had detailed the financial assistance that the Centre announced to states for paddy procurement and the announcement of MSP for Rabi crops. The trend continues to be strong.
Paddy procurement for Kharif Marketing Season 2020-21 has started and procuring in more quantities from the states. Till October 12, 2020 over 48.53 LMT Paddy is procured with a total MSP value of ₹ 9164.30 Crores benefitting more than 4.16 lakh farmers.
Pulse and Oilseeds
Approval was accorded for procurement of 41.67 LMT of Pulse and Oilseeds for Kharif Marketing Season 2020 for the States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. Further, sanction for procurement of 1.23 LMT of Copra for the State of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala was also given.
The Procurement of seed cotton (Kapas) during Kharif Marketing Season 2020-21 has started from October 1, 2020 and cumulative procurement as on October 12, 2020 stands at 43,376 bales under MSP for a value of Rs 12,252 lakh benefitting 8,943 farmers.
Countering Misinformation and Scaremongering
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri countered the scaremongering that the opposition parties are trying to spread especially in Punjab. He said, “The MSP is going to stay. The current paddy crop is being bought on MSP basis; there have been a record buying by Government agencies this season. Similarly, wheat will be procured in the season and no farmer will face any issue.”
He cited some figures to reflect the commitment of government in providing farmers MSP.
- In Punjab, there is an increase of more than 251% increase from Kharif procurement compared to last year.
- Total procurement of paddy across India increased by 35% this year.
- Number of procurement centers for Wheat in Rabi season went up to 21,869 during 2020-21. Almost 50% increase on previous year’s 14,838 procurement centers.
- Procurement centers planned for Kharif season during 2020-21 increased from 30,549 (2019-20) to 39,130–nearly 30% increase.
- Number of procurement centers, Rabi & Kharif seasons combined, have gone up from 48,550 in 2016-17 to 64,515 in 2019-20– increase of nearly 33% over just 4 years.
- Number of farmers who benefited from paddy procurement at MSP has increased by 72% between 2017-18 to 2019-20.
Facts clearly speak for the Modi government’s commitment to help farmers with MSP, along with many other market opportunities in the agriculture which the recent reforms are aiming to achieve. On the other hand, this is what has been achieved by the protests of Congress on Sofa-fitted tractors.