Union Cabinet approves MSP hikes for six rabi crops

New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday approved the hike in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all mandated six Rabi crops in crop season 2020-21 (July-June).

While announcing the MSP hikes in the Lok Sabha, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar reiterated that procurement of crops at MSP will continue across the country.

The increase in MSPs is in line with the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission, as per a Agriculture Ministry statement.

“Working for the welfare of farmers is a matter of good luck for us. The Cabinet has taken a historic decision on the MSP increase in tune with our priority to work for those providing us food. Crores of farmers will benefit from the decision,” Modi tweeted in Hindi.

The highest increase in MSP has been announced for lentils (Rs 300 per quintal), followed by gram, rapeseed and mustard (Rs 225 per quintal each) and safflower (Rs 112 per quintal).

For barley and wheat, an increase of Rs 75 per quintal and Rs 50 per quintal respectively has been announced. The differential remuneration is aimed at encouraging crop diversification.

The MSP of wheat for crop season 2020-21 has been raised from Rs 1,925 to Rs 1,975 per quintal and that of barely from Rs 1,525 to Rs 1,600 per quintal.

MSP of lentils for the same season has been fixed at Rs 5,100 per quintal, and Bengal gram or chana at Rs 5,100 per quintal. For the crop year 2020-21, the MSP of rapeseed and mustard has been fixed at Rs 4,650 per quintal. Similarly, the MSP of safflower has been increased to Rs 5,327 per quintal.

The expected returns to farmers over their cost of production are estimated to be highest in the case of wheat (106 per cent) followed by rapeseed and mustard (93 per cent), and gram and lentil (78 per cent). For barley, the return to farmers over their cost of production is estimated at 65 per cent and for safflower 50 per cent.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) and other designated state agencies would continue to provide price support to the farmers, said Tomar.

The government has set up a buffer stock of pulses and domestic procurement of pulses is also being done under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF), he added.

The umbrella scheme of ‘Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan’ (PM-AASHA), comprising Price Support Scheme (PSS), Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS), and pilot Scheme of Private Procurement and Stockist Scheme (PPSS) will aid in the procurement of pulses and oilseeds, said the Minister.

Despite global COVID-19 pandemic and consequent nationwide lockdown, timely intervention made by the Centre led to an all-time record procurement of wheat at about 39 million tonne for Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2020-21 and around 43 lakh farmers benefited under procurement operations period, which is 22 per cent higher than the RMS 2019-20, said the statement.

In 2019-20, 390 lakh tonne wheat is estimated to be procured, while in 2014-15, 280 lakh tonnes was procured.

In 2019-20, 15 lakh metric tonne pulses is estimated to be procured, while in 2014-15, 3 lakh tonnes was procured.

In 2019-20, 18 lakh metric tonne oilseeds is estimated to be procured, while in 2014-15, 12,000 metric tonne was procured, as per the Ministry.

(IANS)

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