Farmers keep fingers crossed

Reports are making the rounds in the market that the Centre is likely to announce a hike in minimum support price (MSP) for 14 kharif crops, including paddy and pulses. Kharif sowing has already started in some parts of the country.

However, there is no official announcement regarding the MSP. Paddy is likely to get an MSP of ₹1,550 per quintal against ₹1,470 in 2016-17. For grade ‘A’ variety of paddy, the MSP proposed is ₹1,590 against ₹1,510 last year. For pulses, it is expected that the MSP may increase by up to ₹400 per quintal, including a bonus of ₹200.

The MSP for crops is announced by the Centre at the beginning of the sowing season on the basis of the recommendations from the CACP (Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices). This is to protect farmers from the fall in price during the harvest time.

Last year, despite a good MSP for most crops, farmers were not happy. As it was a year of bumper harvest, the small procurement by agencies including FCI was not enough to hold prices from falling.

Will this year be any better? With good monsoon expected again, farmers are hoping that the procurement agencies will pick up more produce from them at least this year.

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