Across India, 42 lakh farmers have been benefitted and a total amount of nearly Rs 73,500 crore has been paid towards minimum support price for wheat.
In a major relief to the farmers, the Narendra Modi government procured 38.2 million tonnes of wheat in the 2020-21 marketing year, which is an all-time high level. To ensure that wheat is procured from farmers without any delay and in a safe manner, extraordinary efforts have been made by state governments and all government procuring agencies led by the Food Corporation of India (FCI), said a statement by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution. Across India, 42 lakh farmers have been benefitted and a total amount of nearly Rs 73,500 crore has been paid towards minimum support price for wheat, the statement added.
In October 2019, the government had hiked the minimum support price for wheat by Rs 85 to Rs 1,925 a quintal and for pulses by up to Rs 325 per quintal. The increased MSP has given more earnings to the farmers. On top of that, the bumper wheat production in the last season has also ensured additional food requirements for the people of the country in the coming months.
The previous record wheat procurement by the government was 38.18 million tonnes achieved in 2012-13 while it stood at 34.13 million tonnes during the 2019-20 marketing year. The government said that number of purchase centers were increased from 14,838 to 21,869 this year by opening procurement centers in all possible locations, in addition to traditional mandis. Madhya Pradesh procured the maximum amount of wheat, followed by Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
Earlier this month, the union cabinet approved to increase the minimum support prices for all mandated Kharif crops for marketing season 2020-21. The government had increased the MSP of Kharif crops to ensure high prices to the growers. The highest increase in MSP is proposed for nigerseed, followed by sesamum, urad, and cotton.
Meanwhile, last week, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the high minimum support prices for crops can lead to an economic crisis in the agriculture sector as it can hinder the acceleration of the economy and may cut purchasing power. Nitin Gadkari also stressed on finding alternative solutions before an economic crisis is created.