MSP: Punjab already has the full benefit of MSP, after Meghalaya the farmers of the state are the richest... so why the agitation?

Posted on 17th Feb 2024 12:05 pm by rohit kumar

Farmers have been agitating since February 13 for their various demands and the main demand is to make a law on MSP. However, the main crops in Punjab are wheat and paddy, out of which government agencies are already purchasing 97 percent of paddy at MSP while 80 percent of wheat is also being procured by the government.


Farmers are selling the best quality Basmati grown in Punjab at the asking price, which is being exported. Experts argue that farmers of Punjab are already taking advantage of MSP. For this reason, after Meghalaya, the farmers of Punjab are the richest in the entire country.



According to the government report, in India, 6 percent get MSP, 94 do not and among those 6 percent farmers, most of them are from Punjab and Haryana. About 97 percent of paddy and about 75-80 percent of wheat grown in Punjab is purchased by the government. On the other hand, in Bihar, less than 1 percent of paddy and wheat are procured by the government, and in UP, less than 7 percent. Around 4 percent of wheat is purchased by the Rajasthan government. According to the data, in exchange for 344.86 lakh metric tonnes of paddy, the central government paid Rs 65.111 crore to about 35 lakh farmers of different states. Out of this 35 lakh farmers, Punjab's contribution was 59 percent.



If the government is promoting other crops then it will have to give a guarantee also: Kokrikalan

Farmer leader Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan says the Haryana and Punjab governments are encouraging the cultivation of crops like maize, cotton, sunflower, and moong to diversify from the water-intensive paddy crop and break the paddy-wheat cycle. However, due to the lack of fair prices for these crops, the crop diversification plans of the governments are not succeeding. Falling under the influence of the government, we grow crops but they are sold in the market at very low prices. For example, sunflower seeds should be purchased at the minimum support price (MSP), which is Rs 6,400 per quintal. Farmers got only Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 per quintal in the open market. Our crops were sold at prices lower than MSP.


Maize price fell to Rs 1,000 per quintal

Maize prices in Punjab have fallen to around Rs 1,000 per quintal. The MSP announced for 2022-23 is much lower than Rs 1,962 per quintal. In Haryana too, prices have fallen 50 percent below the MSP and farmers suffered huge losses. Similarly, an MSP of Rs 7,755 per quintal was announced for Moong, but farmers were getting only about Rs 6,000 per quintal. Low prices for other crops are a major reason why farmers do not divert their attention from wheat and paddy. Because these provide assured and better returns.


Every year, the government announces MSP for various crops, but effectively only two or three crops like paddy, wheat, and sometimes soybean are purchased at the prices announced by the government. The rest is bought by private traders, who have no legal obligation to buy at MSP or above. That's why we are demanding laws and guarantees. Purchasing maize from 100,000 hectares instead of rice will cost an additional Rs 89.35 crore in Punjab and Rs 24.56 crore in Haryana.


Also Read: Modi government: No legal guarantee but record increase in MSP, work done to improve the financial condition of agriculture sector

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