BENGALURU: The Minimum Support Price (MSP) announced by the central government for 17 Kharif crops for 2020-21 has not taken into account the comprehensive cost of production, said former chief minister Siddaramaiah, and sought a review of the MSP.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the former CM said the cost of production of the crops exceeds the revised MSP rates, thus defeating the purpose. The cost of production calculation has not taken into account all the costs, including rent of cultivable land, family labour costs, imputed costs on soil degradation and owned capital, the Congress leader added.
Citing an example of MSP for groundnut, Siddaramaiah said the cost of production as per the committee (that fixed the MSP) is Rs 3,515 a tonne and the MSP announced is Rs 5,275. However, the actual cost of production, based on C2 (comprehensive cost) formula, is Rs 6,509 a tonne and the MSP should have been Rs 9,763, when calculated as 1.5 times of the production cost, he said and added the wide difference in MSP can be seen for all the crops.
“I strongly urge the central government to reconsider the decision and announce the MSP rates based on C2 (comprehensive cost). The same should be extended to all the agricultural produce to help farmers tide over the fallout of Covid-19 outbreak,” the former CM said. Many farmers do not have access to markets, which pushes them to sell their produce to local trades at lower prices, he said and added that the government should intervene in such cases to ensure that farmers get adequate price for their produce.
Govt ‘persecuting’ farmers, says HDK
In the wake of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa instructing “farmers who own tractors and other vehicles” to return their BPL cards, JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy said this decision is an indication of an “unreasonable government”. He questioned why the government was interested in “persecuting” farmers, and pointed to defects in the public distribution system which, he demanded must be rectified first. “Let the government quit its usual practice of squeezing the peasant’s throat,’’ he said. He said in today’s era of scientific farming, it is necessary to own agricultural machinery and vehicles. “One should remember that BPL cards are now not limited to rations and is the basis for many other purposes and facilities,’’ he said.