Government hikes support prices for rabi crops

The government has increase in the minimum support price (MSP) for Rabi crops, including wheat, to boost procurement and the public distribution system.

The cabinet committee on economic affairs yesterday approved the new support prices as per the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), the nodal agency that recommends remunerative prices of crops.

The MSP for wheat has been raised to Rs1,080 a quintal for the 2009-10 season, up Rs80 from the current year's price.

The MSP for barley has been raised by Rs35 per quintal to Rs680 a quintal and that of gram to Rs1,730 per quintal, marking an increase of Rs130 per quintal over the last year's MSP.

The MSP for masur (lentil) has been fixed at Rs1,870 per quintal, up Rs170 per quintal from the current year's figures.

The MSP for safflower remains unchanged at Rs1,650 per quintal but the MSP of rapeseed/mustard has been raised by Rs30 per quintal and fixed at Rs1,830 per quintal.

The MSP is the remunerative price at which the government procures from farmers to prevent distress sale in case market prices dip. It also acts as a benchmark price for a particular crop. The procurement of wheat, a major rabi crop, starts from April and continues till June.