New Delhi: Giving a major boost for the farmers’ income, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all kharif crops for 2018-19 Season.
The decision of the CCEA is a historic one as it redeems the promise of the pre-determined principle of fixing the MSPs at a level of at least 150 percent of the cost of production announced by the Union Budget for 2018-19. The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) has recommended MSPs for all kharif crops broadly in line with the announced principle.
The Budget for 2018-19 had indicated that a paradigm shift in the agricultural policies is needed to achieve the objective of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 through greater emphasis on generating higher incomes of farmers. The increase in the MSPs of Nigerseed at Rs.1827 per quintal, moong by Rs.1400 per quintal, sunflower seed by Rs.1288 per quintal and cotton by Rs.l 130 per quintal is unprecedented.
Amongst cereals and nutri cereals, in terms of absolute increase, MSP of paddy (common) has been raised by Rs 200 per quintal, jowar (hybrid) by Rs 730 per quintal and ragi by Rs 997 per quintal. The highest percentage increase in MSP over the previous year is for ragi (52.47 %) followed by jowar hybrid (42.94%). For pulses, apart from Moong, MSP of arhar (tur) has been raised by Rs 225 per quintal yielding a return over cost by 65.36 per cent and urad by Rs 200 per quintal with a return over cost by 62.89 per cent in order to maintain inter-crop-price parity. Similarly, the MSP of Bajra has been raised by Rs.525 per quintal yielding a return of 96.97 per cent over cost.
Promoting cultivation of pulses can help India overcome nutrition insecurity, improve soil fertility by nitrogen fixation and provide income support to farmers. Thus, increased MSPs for pulses will give a price signal to farmers to increase acreage. Further enhanced MSPs would boost production of oilseeds and encourage investment in its productivity and help reduce India’s import bill. Increase in MSPs of nutri-cereals will improve nutritional security and allow farmers to get higher prices.
Besides increase in Minimum Support Prices (MSP) of kharif crops, Government has also taken several farmer friendly initiatives. The premium rates to be paid by farmers are very low – 2 % of sum insured for all kharif crops, 1.5% for all rabi crops and 5 % for commercial and horticulture crops under smart technology through phones & remote sensing for quick estimation and early settlement of claims. The Government has also launched a Mobile App “Crop Insurance” which will help farmers to find out complete details about insurance cover available in their area and to calculate the insurance premium for notified crops.
The Government has also launched a scheme to develop a pan India electronic trading platform under ‘National Agriculture Market’ aiming to integrate 585 regulated markets with the common e-market platform in order to facilitate better price discovery and ensure remunerative prices to farmers. Each State is being encouraged to undertake three major reforms – allow electronic trading, have a single license valid throughout the State and a single entry point market fee. It will also enable farmers to discover better prices for their produce. As on 23rd March, 2018, 585 markets in 16 States and 2 Union Territories have already been brought on the e-NAM platform.Government has also formulated a new model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing to provide farmers market options beyond the existing APMC regulated market yards.
Soil Health Cards are being issued to farmers across the country. As on 25th June, 2018, 15.14 crore Soil Health Cards have been distributed. Under Paramparagat KrishiVikas Yojana , the Government is promoting organic farming and development of potential market for organic products.The Pradhan Mantri KrishiSinchai Yojana is being implemented with the vision of extending the coverage of irrigation ‘Har Khet ko Pani’ and improving water use efficiency ‘Per Drop More Crop ‘ in a focused manner with end to end solution on source creation, distribution, management, field application and extension activities.
A dedicated online interface e-KrishiSamvad provides direct and effective solutions to problems faced by farmers.Government has set up a buffer stock of pulses and domestic procurement of pulses is also being done under Price Stabilization Fund mainly with a view to protect consumers.A handbook for women farmers ‘Farm Women Friendly Hand Book’ containing special provisions and package of assistance which women farmers can claim under various ongoing Missions/ Submissions/ Schemes of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare has been brought out.The Government has set a target to double the farmers’ Income by 2022.