MSP: A New Dawn for Rajasthan's Farmers

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Apurva Dhamankar

9/22/20232 min read

Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a minimum price set by the Government of India at which the government will purchase certain agricultural products from farmers if the market price falls below the MSP. This is done to protect farmers from distress sales and to ensure that they get a fair price for their produce. MSP is recommended by the CACP (Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices) and then announced by the government of India before the sowing season for 22 crops, including wheat, paddy, rice, maize, jowar, bajra, pulses, oilseeds, and cotton.

MSP helps farmers by protecting them from price risks and assuring them a guaranteed market in case the bumper produce remains unsold. This leads to higher productivity and incomes for farmers. They can get MSP, but it is not an entitlement. Since everything depends on the government, they are unable to demand anything as part of their legal or constitutional rights.

Currently, As the Assembly polls in Rajasthan are approaching the Kisan Maha panchayat, a farmer organization in Rajasthan, has demanded a legal guarantee for the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for four key crops: moong, bajra, mustard, and jowar. As there is no mention of MSP in Rajasthan’s budget Kisan Maha panchayat president Rampal Jat has demanded that the state government should pass a law to guarantee minimum support price (MSP) for agricultural produce in Rajasthan by making a small change in the existing Rajasthan Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1961.

The legal MSP would provide farmers with an assured income, similar to salaried employees, and address the ongoing challenges they face in the market. With the election season approaching, this issue takes center stage in the state's agricultural landscape. Previously there had been a failed experience of enforcing MSP in soyabean in Maharashtra, as traders bought at lower rates from Madhya Pradesh. But in the case of Rajasthan as half the mustard is produced there, it won’t be sold below MSP and automatically the price of crops in another state will be at par stated Rampal Jat. This year the price of mustard has fallen from Rs 7,444 per quintal to Rs. 3,000 in price due to import and export policies. For the farmers of Rajasthan, it is a serious issue. Mustard being an important commodity in the state has experienced a price drop. It is important to develop a policy to minimize unexpected results.

Will the Indian government's attempt to give farmers a guaranteed price for their crops be a success, or will it fail as it did in Maharashtra?

Thank you.

Regards,

Anushree Dharme,

Kautilya, IBS Mumbai.

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