MSP hike: Farmers yet to reap gains on the groundhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/msp-hike-farmers-yet-to-reap-gains-on-the-ground/

MSP hike: Farmers yet to reap gains on the ground

The Indian Express found that farmers in Punjab said they are finding it hard to obtain even 40 to 50 per cent of the newly announced MSPs.

India’s genetically modified crop area fifth largest in world
Government procurement is only for Paddy and Wheat while other crops are sold in the open market. (Archives)

After the Centre raised the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of 14 Kharif crops (April to October) last Wednesday, the MSP of Moong dal has gone up by Rs 1400 to Rs 6975/ quintal, of Sunflower by Rs. 1288 / quintal to Rs. 5388/quintal, and maize by Rs. 275 /quintal to Rs 1700/quintal. These crops are now in the mandis of Punjab.

The Indian Express found that growers of these crops in Punjab said they are finding it hard to obtain even 40 to 50 per cent of the newly announced MSPs. Government procurement is only for Paddy and Wheat while other crops are sold in the open market. Government does not exercise any control on the rates. Farmers said that government should stop patting itseld on the back just for making the announcement.

Sunflower grower

Farmer Balkar Singh (60) of Bagpur village under Nakodar block of Jalandhar district. He has grown sunflower on 12 acres of the 25 acres he takes on lease at the rate of Rs. 35000 annual rent per acre. He grows three crops annually – Potato (October to March), Sunflower (March to June) and Maize (June to October).

Per acre Expenditure to grow sunflower: He spends Rs 9,000 to 9,300 per acre, which includes Rs 1,200 for preparation of the field by running rotavator machine after harvesting potato. Around 2 kg seeds costing Rs 1,000, sowing charges Rs 1,000, two compulsory sprays of insecticides costing around Rs 1,600, harvesting charges. Rs 3,500, which includ both combine harvesters and labour charges. He spends Rs 1,000 for drying his crop before selling it.

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Rent per acre: Rs 35,000 annually and if it is divided by three crops, which he takes, then rent for one crop comes to
Rs 11,666. Total Expenditure per acre: 9,000+11,666= 20,666 excluding the family labour hours.

Total Production of Sunflower per acre: Between 8-9 quintals if it is bumper crop. Current Per quintal market price and total price of one acre crop:

Rs 2,800 per quintal and total rate per acre is Rs 22,400 to Rs 25,200.

“If I include the family labour hours in this then the farmers is left earning nothing from this crop If I sell it at the current price. Government must implement the MSP practically instead of just fixing if it wants to bail out the farmers from the agrarian crisis,” said Balkar Singh, adding that we do not need any loan waiver but only the fair price of the crop. With announced MSP of Rs. 5388/quintal for sunflower, farmers should be able to get Rs. 43,104 to Rs. 48,492/ acre, he said.

Moong grower

Farmer Davinder Singh (28) of Khabbe Dogra village of Tarn Taran district. He has grown Moong on 6- acres of land and sold the same recently at a rate of Rs. 4000 per quital to a commission agent. He too grows three crops — paddy, potato and moong/maize.

Per acre Expenditure to grow Moong: He spends Rs. 95,00/acre which includes Rs. 2500 of field preparation by running rotavator and other machines and sowing charges. Around 20 KG seeds costing Rs. 3000, four sprays of insecticides, fungicides costing around Rs. 1000, harvesting charges Rs. 3000 which included both combine harvesters and labour charges.

Rent per acre: Rs. 40,000 annually and if it is divided by three crops, then one crop rent comes to Rs. 13,333.

Total Expenditure per acre: 9500+13,333= 22,833 excluding the family labour hours.

Total Production of Moong per acre: Between 5-6 quintals if it is bumper crop.

Current Per quintal market price and total price of one acre crop: Rs. 4000/4100 per quintal and total rate per acre is Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 24,000. “One can see that what a farmer is earning from these diversified crops after meeting all input costs,” said Davinder Singh adding that if fixed MSP of Rs 6975 is paid to a farmers then he sell his crop at Rs, 35000 to Rs. 42000 per acre which would be around 50% above the input cost.

Maize Grower

Kartar Singh Sangherha (57) a marginal farmer, of village Khanpur Dhadda under Nakodar Block of Jalandhar district. He has been doing farming on 28 acres of land including 3-acres of his own land and 25 acres he takes of lease at the rate of Rs. 38000 annual rent per acre.

n Per acre Expenditure to grow Maize: He spends Rs. 18,000 per acre which includes Rs. 1200 for preparation of the field by running rotavator machine after harvesting previous crop. Around 9 KG seeds costing Rs. 4000, compulsory weedicide spray costing Rs. 2200, Rs. 900 for three Urea bags of 45 KG each, Rs. 2500 on two DAP bags, insecticide spray costing Rs. 450, Rs. 6,000 harvesting charges including both labour and machine.

Rent per acre: Rs. 38,000 annually and if it is divided by three crops, which he takes, then one crop rent comes to Rs. 12,666.

Total Expenditure per acre: 18000+12666= 30,666 excluding the family labour hours.

Total Production of maize per acre: Between 40-45 quintals per acre if it is bumper crop.

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Current Per quintal market price and total price of one acre crop: Rs. 750 to 800 per quintal and total rate of one acre crop would come to Rs. 32,000 to Rs. 36,000.

“If we sell our crop at the full MSP of Rs. 1700/quintal then we would be able to sell at Rs. 68000 to Rs. 76000 which is exactly the amount which the government is claiming of paying farmers as per the Swaminathan commission’s recommendations i.e. 1.5 above the total input cost,” said he. “What who will pay us this announced MSP,” questioned he.

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