The government is considering raising the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy by Rs 80 per quintal to Rs 1,550 for the upcoming 2017-18 crop year starting from July. The MSP of paddy was fixed at Rs 1,470 for the common grade and Rs 1,510 for the ‘A’ grade variety for the 2016-17 crop year that ends next month. According to sources, the agriculture ministry has moved a Cabinet note for inter-ministerial consultation and the proposal is likely to get the Cabinet nod soon. The ministry has proposed Rs 80 per quintal increase in the paddy MSP for 2017-18 crop year. The suggested MSP for the common grade is Rs 1,550 and that of the ‘A’ grade Rs 1,590.
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The price increase proposed for paddy, however, is slightly higher than the Rs 60 hike effected during the 2016- 17 crop year. The proposed rates are in line with the recommendations of the expert body Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
Paddy is grown in both kharif (summer) and rabi (winter) seasons. But much of the paddy output comes from the kharif crop, sowing of which normally begins with the onset of the Southwest Monsoon. In the current year, rice output is estimated to have touched an all-time high at 109.15 mt, of which 95.09 mt were grown in the kharif season. The previous record was 106.65 mt in the 2013-14 crop year. Rice is an important food crop in India and second most in the world.