Updated: April 13, 2021 2:49:47 am
The Haryana government has not procured even a single quintal of mustard with private players buying out the entire oilseed produce of around 2 lakh tonnes that was brought to the state’s mandis by the farmers. The state government welcomed the phenomenon saying that the private players procured the oilseed at rates much above the minimum support price.
After visiting eight mandis of Gurgaon, Rewari, Mahendragarh, Dadri and Bhiwani, state Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister JP Dalal told The Indian Express: “The MSP of mustard is Rs 4,650 per quintal while it is being sold up to Rs 5,800 per quintal in Rewari. In other mandis too, it’s price is above 5,500 per quintal.”
“The government has not purchased even a single quintal of mustard in Haryana mandis till date. We are happy with this situation when the private players buy produce from farmers above the prices of MSP. The welfare of farmers is the utmost priority of the government. If we need the agricultural produce, then we can procure it from the market,” said Dalal.
Mustard is mainly produced in southern Haryana apart from some areas of Hisar and Fatehabad.
High global prices have made edible oil imports dearer, benefiting domestic mustard growers just when their crop is being harvested and brought to the mandis. Haryana Agriculture and Farmers Welfare department Director General Hardeep Singh said, “Mustard is used in soaps, cosmetics, personal care products and cattle feed too. We aim to increase the area under the crop also but traditionally it is restricted to southern Haryana, and Hisar.”
Commenting on the higher market prices of mustard, agriculture and food expert Devinder Sharma said, “It gives more reasons to make MSP a legal right for farmers. If markets are willing to pay a higher price, there is no reason why a floor price by way of an MSP should not be fixed. It does not mean the state has to buy the entire produce. It only raises the benchmark for trade.”
A law to ensure MSP of agricultural crops is one among the main demands of farmers, who are currently sitting at the borders of Delhi as part of their ongoing agitation against three agri laws.
Dalal said the Haryana farmers are happy because of higher production of mustard this time. “This time, the production will be higher by 1-2 quintal per acre against the normal production of 8 quintal per acre.”
The minister said kapas (narma cotton) is also fetching higher prices than the MSP in Haryana mandis currently. “The Haryana government is procuring 10 crops on MSP including millet, groundnut, sunflower, wheat, paddy and mustard and the farmers are getting payments directly into their accounts,” he added.
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