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Give Rs 100 over MSP to farmers: Swaminathan

With wheat production in Punjab reaching an all-time high,well-known agricultural scientist and Rajya Sabha MP Dr M S Swaminathan on Wednesday urged the state government to provide farmers with an additional Rs 100 per quintal over the Minimum Support Price as was the case in Mahrashtra and Rajasthan.

With wheat production in Punjab reaching an all-time high,well-known agricultural scientist and Rajya Sabha MP Dr M S Swaminathan on Wednesday urged the state government to provide farmers with an additional Rs 100 per quintal over the Minimum Support Price (MSP) as was the case in Mahrashtra and Rajasthan. “This is what we call procurement price,” said Swaminathan while interacting with farmers.

Wheat procurement in Punjab has touched an all-time high of 124.65 lakh tonne. Out of the total procurement,government agencies have procured almost

99 per cent of arrival in grain markets. Centre’s Food Corporation of India has procured 18.72 lakh tonnes. Before the start of procurement,the target for wheat purchase for central pool was set at 115 lakh tonne.

Saying that he was concerned about the fact that farmers are not getting their dues,Swaminathan — credited to have ushered in the Green Revolution in the country — added: “The MSPs are too low,which make agriculture uneconomical for farmers. Land rentals are also very high,which further adds to the distress. In the past as well,we have recommended that the MSP should include a percentage of profit and there should also be a procurement price that takes into account inflation

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“Another area where the farmers are being left out is exports. Export of foodgrain or item is done after farmers sell their produce. The income from exports is very high but the farmers get nothing. Thus,a part of export profits should also come to the farmers,” he said.

While speaking about the storage problem,Swaminathan said: “Basically,agriculture in India is gambling with weather. We had good weather this time,so,wheat production has been very high. The situation is same in Madhya Pradesh as well. The first problem we face is that of shortage of gunny bags. The government says that states like MP should have envisaged the increased production and ordered gunny bags accordingly. Now that the shortfall is being met,care should be taken before the grain begins arriving at the mandis. Movement of grain to consumer centres should also be done regularly.”

First published on: 17-05-2012 at 03:39 IST
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