The centre has approved an increase in minimum support price (MSP) in the range of 5 per cent to 8 per cent for various kharif or summer grown crops, including paddy, pulses, oilseeds and cotton, for the 2017-18 crop season (July-June). The government has approved Rs 80 per quintal hike in paddy MSP, while support price of pulses has been raised by up to Rs 400 per quintal to encourage farmers increase area sown under kharif crops this season. It has approved paddy MSP at Rs 1,550 for common grade variety and Rs 1,590 for ‘A’ grade variety.
Tur or arhar MSP has been raised to Rs 5,450 from Rs 5,050 a quintal, while support price of moong dal has been increased to Rs 5,575 (including bonus) from Rs 5,225 per quintal. Urad MSP is now Rs 5,400 per quintal against Rs 5,000 in the previous year. The cotton MSP has been raised by Rs 160 per quintal to Rs 4,020 per quintal for medium staple cotton and Rs 4,320 per quintal for long staple cotton. The MSP of soyabean, a major crop in Madhya Pradesh, has been raised by Rs 275 per quintal to Rs 3,050 per quintal.
While the Food Corporation of India (FCI) in collaboration with state agencies purchase rice and wheat from the farmers by paying MSP, for other crops the centre intervenes when market prices fall below MSP.
In 2016-17, the agencies such as Nafed, FCI and SFAC had purchased around 1.8 million tonne of pulses from farmers for creating a buffer stock. Earlier this month, the Union Cabinet had approved MSP of 14 kharif (summer-sown) crops. However, the decision was not announced amid farmers protest in many states including Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, seeking waiver of crop loans. The agriculture ministry has now communicated to states about the hike in kharif MSP for the 2017-18 crop year (July-June). With the early onset of monsoon, the sowing operations have commenced across the country. The announcement of MSP is expected to boost kharif sowing.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) recently had said that rainfall during south-west monsoon season (June-September) is likely to be in ‘normal’ range. IMD in its second long range forecast stated that quantitatively monsoon season rainfall for the country as whole is likely to be 98 per cent of the benchmark — Long Period Average (LPA), with a model error of ± 4 per cent. Because of normal rainfall last year, foodgrains production in 2016-17 crop year (July-June) is estimated to reach an all-time record of 273.38 million tonne. FE