Centre hikes minimum support price of wheat as farmers continue to protest
The government on Wednesday hiked the minimum support price for wheat by Rs 40 to Rs 2,015 per quintal and for mustard seed by Rs 400 to Rs 5,050 per quintal for the current crop year in order to boost crop area as well as income of farmers.
The decision to increase the MSPs (Minimum Support Prices) was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
MSP is the rate at which the government buys grain from farmers. Currently, the government fixes MSPs for 23 crops grown in both kharif and rabi seasons.
Sowing of rabi (winter) crops begins from October immediately after the harvest of kharif (summer) crops. Wheat and mustard are major rabi crops.
According to an official release, the CCEA has approved increase in MSPs for six rabi crops for the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) and 2022-23 marketing season.
Wheat MSP has been increased by Rs 40 to Rs 2,015 per quintal for this crop year from Rs 1,975 per quintal in the 2020-21 crop year.
The cost of production of wheat is estimated at Rs 1,008 per quintal, the release said.
The government has procured a record of over 43 million tonnes of wheat during 2021-22 rabi marketing season, as per official data.
The support price of barley has been hiked by Rs 35 to Rs 1,635 per quintal for the 2021-22 crop year from Rs 1,600 per quintal in the previous year.
Among pulses, the MSP for gram has been increased by Rs 130 to Rs 5,230 per quintal from Rs 5,100 per quintal while that for lentil (masur) has been hiked by Rs 400 to Rs 5,500 per quintal from Rs 5,100 per quintal.
In the case of oilseeds, the government has increased the MSP for mustard seed by Rs 400 to Rs 5,050 per quintal for the 2021-22 crop year from Rs 4,650 per quintal in the previous year.
The MSP for safflower has been raised by Rs 114 to Rs 5,441 per quintal from Rs 5,327 per quintal.
"Government has increased the MSP of rabi crops for the 2022-23 rabi marketing season to ensure remunerative prices to the growers for their produce," the release said.
The government said the increase in MSPs for of rabi crops for the 2022-23 marketing season is in line with the Union Budget 2018-19 announcement of fixing the MSPs at a level of at least 1.5 times of the average cost of production, aiming a reasonably fair remuneration for farmers
"The expected returns to farmers over their cost of production are estimated to be highest in case of wheat and mustard seed (100 per cent each), followed by lentil (79 per cent), gram (74 per cent ); barley (60 per cent) and safflower (50 per cent)," it added.
The government also said that concerted efforts were made over the last few years to realign the MSPs in favour of oilseeds, pulses and coarse cereals to encourage farmers to shift to larger area under these crops and adopt best technologies and farm practices, to correct the demand-supply imbalance.
Additionally, a central scheme -- National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) -- recently announced by the government will help in increasing the domestic production of edible oils and reduce import dependency.
With the total outlay of Rs 11,040 crore for NMEO-OP, the scheme will not only aid in expanding area and productivity of the sector but also benefit the farmers by increasing their income and generation of additional employment, it added.