Govt hikes paddy MSP by Rs80/qtl, raises pulses MSP by up to Rs400/qtl

The centre has approved a Rs80 per quintal hike in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy and those of pulses by up to Rs400 per quintal amidst an escalation of protests by farmers demanding remunerative prices for their produce and waiver of crop loans.

While the decision to hike MSP for the 14 kharif (summer crops) produce that would encourage farmers increase area sown under Kharif crops was taken on 7 June, the announcement of the decision has been held back because of widespread protests by farmers.

According to the letter to the states, the Centre has approved Rs 80 per quintal hike in paddy MSP at Rs 1,550 for common grade variety and Rs 1,590 for 'A' grade variety.

In pulses, the MSP has been hiked by up to Rs 400 per quintal.

Tur MSP has been raised to Rs 5,450 from 5,050 a quintal, while support price of Moong dal has been increased to Rs 5,575 (including bonus) from Rs 5,225 per quintal.

Urad MSP is now Rs5,400 per quintal against Rs5,000 in the previous year.

Cotton MSP has been raised by Rs160 to Rs4,020 per quintal for medium staple cotton and to Rs4,320 per quintal for long staple cotton.

The MSP of soyabean, a major crop in Madhya Pradesh, has been raised by Rs275 per quintal to Rs3,050 per quintal.

Groundnut-in-shell and sunflower seed MSPs have been raised by Rs230 and Rs150 per quintal respectively. The support price of groundnut-in-shell and sunflower seed now stands at Rs4,450 per quintal and Rs4,100 per quintal.
 
Nigerseed MSP has been increased to Rs4,050 from Rs3,825 per quintal and sesamum MSP to Rs5,300 from Rs5,000 per quintal.

Among coarse cereals, prices of maize have been raised by Rs60 to Rs1,425 per quintal.

Bajra MSP is up Rs95 at Rs1,425, while ragi MSP has been increased by Rs175 to Rs1,900 per quintal.

Jowar (hybrid) has been raised by Rs75 per quintal to Rs1,700 per quintal and jowar (maldandi) by Rs75 to Rs1,725 per quintal.

In terms of percentage, the maximum hike in MSP has been in ragi at 10.14 per cent, followed by soyabean at 9.91 per cent.

The government has approved a Rs200 hike over the MSP for tur, moong, urad, groundnut and soyabean proposed by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).

Government has approved an extra Rs100 per quintal in case of MSP for sesamum, nigerseed and sunflower seed than recommended by the CACP.

With monsoon rains expected to be normal this year, the government is aiming to achieve yet another record foodgrain and horticulture production.

The country achieved record foodgrains production of 273.38 million tonnes in the 2016-17 crop year, but bumper output has resulted in fall in market price and distress to farmers.

Farmers took to street in many states, including Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, seeking waiver of crop loans.

The union agriculture ministry has now informed states and union territories through a letter about the hike in Kharif MSP for the 2017-18 crop year (July-June).

The sowing operations have already started with onset of monsoon, which has been projected to be normal this year by the Met department. The announcement of MSP will help farmers in deciding which crop to grow.

The Centre buys rice and wheat at MSP, while in other crops it enters the market only when market rates fall below the support price. Last year, the Centre bought pulses from farmers and market to create 20 lakh tonnes of buffer stock.