New Delhi, Sept 8: The Union Cabinet has approved a hike in minimum support prices (MSP) for rabi crops in a bid to encourage diversification in production. The MSPs have been aligned in favour of oilseeds, pulses and coarse cereals.
It may be noted that MSP is the rate at which the government buys the grain from farmers. As per the norm, the government fixes MSPs for 23 crops grown in both kharif and rabi seasons. The MSP hike comes before the sowing of rabi (winter crop) begins from October, immediately after the harvest of kharif crops.
Wheat and mustard are major rabi crops. The MSP for wheat has been increased by Rs 40 to Rs 2,015 per quintal and by Rs 400 to Rs 5,050 per quintal for mustard seed in the current crop year.
However, the MSP hike for wheat (2 per cent) is the lowest in a decade. It is worth mentioning that India is the world’s second-biggest wheat consumer and the prices are set each year to protect farmers from panic selling.
The increase in MSP of rabi crops will ensure remunerative prices for farmers, according to the government. “The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for all mandated rabi crops for rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2022-23,” said an official statement released after the approval of MSP.
The MSP of barley has been hiked by Rs 35 to Rs 1,635 per quintal for the 2021-22 crop year from Rs 1,600 per quintal in the previous year. Among the pulses, the MSP for gram has been increased by Rs 130 to Rs 5,230 per quintal and that of lentil (masur) has been hiked by Rs 400 to Rs 5,550 per quintal.
Meanwhile, the MSP for safflower has been raised by Rs 114 to Rs 5,441 per quintal from Rs 5,327 per quintal.
“Government has increased the MSP of rabi crops for the 2022-23 rabi marketing season to ensure remunerative prices to the growers for their produce,” the release said.
The increase in MSP for rabi crops for RMS 2022-23 is in line with the Union Budget 2018-19 announcement of fixing the MSPs at a level of at least 1.5 times of the all-India weighted average cost of production, aiming a reasonably fair remuneration for farmers.
“The expected returns to farmers over their cost of production are estimated to be highest in case of wheat and rapeseed and mustard (100 per cent each), followed by lentil (79 per cent); gram (74 per cent); barley (60 per cent); safflower (50 per cent),” the release added.
The government also said concerted efforts were made over the last few years to realign the MSPs in favour of oilseeds, pulses and coarse cereals to encourage farmers to shift to the larger area under these crops and adopt the best technologies and farm practices, to correct demand-supply imbalance.
Additionally, National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP), Centrally Sponsored Scheme recently announced by the government, will help in increasing the domestic production of edible oils and reduce imports dependency.
With the total outlay of Rs11,040 crore, the scheme will not only aid in expanding the area and productivity of the sector but also benefit the farmers by increasing their income and generation of additional employment.