MSP hike: Don’t spare those who give farmers a raw deal - The Tribune India

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MSP hike

Don’t spare those who give farmers a raw deal

MSP hike

Photo for representation. File photo



THE Union Cabinet has approved a hike of 4-10 per cent in the minimum support price (MSP) of various kharif crops. The MSP of paddy has been increased by Rs 143 per quintal (7 per cent) for the 2023-24 season — the second steepest hike for this staple cereal in the past decade. Among pulses, moong has seen the maximum increase (10.35 per cent) in MSP, followed by tur (6.06 per cent increase) and urad (5.3 per cent). The government had recently imposed stock limits on tur and urad in a bid to prevent hoarding.

The sunflower seed’s MSP has been increased by 5.6 per cent to Rs 6,760 per quintal, up from Rs 6,400 in 2022-23, even as protesting oilseed farmers blocked a highway in Haryana’s Kurukshetra district on Tuesday, claiming that they were selling sunflower seed in desperation to private buyers at rates as low as Rs 4,000 per quintal as the government was not buying their produce at the MSP.

The Centre has stated that it has substantially increased the MSP of kharif crops to ensure remunerative prices to the growers and encourage crop diversification. However, in the absence of a legal guarantee of the MSP for crop procurement, farmers are often exploited by traders and have to resort to distress sale of their produce. This legal guarantee was a prominent demand of farm unions during their year-long agitation against three Central farm laws, which were eventually repealed. With farm unions of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh announcing that they would hold ‘MSP dilao, kisan bachao’ rally on June 12, there is no room for the Centre to be complacent. Merely hiking the MSP is not good enough; the challenge is to ensure that every farmer gets a fair price. The agencies or traders who shortchange the toiling cultivators must be taken to task.


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