With some crops like pulses starting to arrive in mandis a bit early, the government today said minimum support price (MSP) of all kharif crops grown this year will be applicable from September.
Normally, harvesting of kharif (summer) crops begins from October. But this year, kharif pulses, especially moong, have started hitting the market in September itself and the government has started its procurement at MSP as mandi prices have gone below the support price.
“The Centre has decided that MSP for kharif crops grown in 2016 will be applicable from September 1, 2016. The decision has been taken as harvested crops sown in kharif may reach the market even before October,” the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement.
The decision has been conveyed to agriculture secretaries of all states and Union Territories.
The Centre announces MSP in each season for major agricultural commodities to ensure remunerative prices to farmers for their produce. MSP for kharif crops for the ongoing 2016-17 crop year (July-June) was announced on June 1.
In a separate release, the ministry said total area sown under kharif crops has increased to 1,058.48 lakh hectares so far this year, from 1,022.61 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.
Kharif (summer) sowing, which began with the onset of South-West monsoon from June, has almost come to an end.
There has been a significant jump in area sown under pulses to 144.96 lakh hectares so far this kharif season of 2016-17, from 112.43 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.
Area under paddy has increased marginally to 382 lakh hectares from 371.74 lakh hectares while that of coarse cereals has increased to 188.62 lakh hectares from 182.70 lakh hectares a year earlier, as per the ministry’s data.
In the case of oil seeds, the acreage has gone up slightly to 188.33 lakh hectares so far this kharif season, from 183.21 lakh hectares in the same period last year.
Among cash crops, cotton area has come down to 102.23 lakh hectares, from 115.20 lakh hectares in the said period due to fears of whitefly pest attack in Punjab.
Sugarcane area too has fallen to 45.77 lakh hectares so far this kharif season, from 49.60 lakh hectares in the year-earlier period.
The government is targeting a record 270.10 million tonnes of foodgrain production in the 2016-17 crop year.