Over 14% of land-owning farmers benefit from MSP purchases: Minister

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August 04, 2021 12:30 AM

The accurate number of farmers benefiting from the MSP declaration is difficult to assess, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in a written reply in Lok Sabha. However, farmers who benefitted from the government procurement at MSP increased to over 2.1 crore in 2020-21 from 2.04 crore in the previous year, the minister said.

The government’s procurement operations result in private procurement on or above the MSP for various notified crops, he added.The government’s procurement operations result in private procurement on or above the MSP for various notified crops, he added.

The government on Tuesday informed the Parliament that over 14% of land-owning farmers benefit from the official procurement of crops at their minimum support prices (MSPs) and the number has been rising during the past three years. There are 14.6 crore, land-owning farmers, according to government data.

The accurate number of farmers benefiting from the MSP declaration is difficult to assess, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in a written reply in Lok Sabha. However, farmers who benefitted from the government procurement at MSP increased to over 2.1 crore in 2020-21 from 2.04 crore in the previous year, the minister said. The government’s procurement operations result in private procurement on or above the MSP for various notified crops, he added.

Procurement at MSP, carried out by Central and state agencies under various schemes, is limited mainly to wheat, paddy, cotton, pulses and oilseeds. While procurement of paddy and wheat was at a record 86.93 million tonne (MT) and 43.33 MT, respectively during the 2020-21 crop year (July-June). Paddy farmers have been paid Rs 1.64 lakh crore and wheat growers Rs 85,581 crore under the procurement scheme of the government.

Coarse cereals procurement first time in at least a decade crossed over 1 MT in 2020-21, as against less than 0.5 MT earlier. Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh have recorded the highest procurement of coarse cereals comprising jowar, bajra, maize and ragi.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at different border points of Delhi for over eight months demanding repeal of the three contentious farm laws and to ensure a legally guaranteed MSP mechanism. They have expressed apprehension that the farm laws, implementation of which has been suspended by the Supreme Court since January, will herald the monopoly of the private traders in purchasing the crops.

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