New MSP kicks in as Kharif marketing season gets rolling

Following the Union government’s revision of MSP in June, the per quintal price for A-grade paddy now stands at Rs 2,203, compared to the previous year’s price of Rs 2,160.

Published: 02nd September 2023 06:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd September 2023 06:55 AM   |  A+A-

Farmers packing harvested paddy near Tiruchy | M K Ashok Kumar

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The 2023-2024 Kharif Marketing Season kicked off on Friday, marking the beginning of paddy procurement in the delta and other districts across the state. Farmers will now receive an enhanced price of Rs 2,310 per quintal for A-grade paddy and Rs 2,265 for common paddy varieties at the direct procurement centres.

Following the Union government’s revision of the minimum support price (MSP) in June, the per quintal price for A-grade paddy now stands at Rs 2,203, compared to the previous year’s price of Rs 2,160. Similarly, the MSP for common varieties has increased from Rs 2,115 to Rs 2,183 per quintal. Furthermore, the state government has raised the incentives from Rs 100 to Rs 107 and from Rs 75 to Rs 82 per quintal, respectively.

In the previous Kharif Marketing Season, the food department had managed to procure 43.84 lakh MT of paddy, and this year, officials anticipate reaching 48 lakh MT. Last year, Rs 9414 crore was released to 5.21 lakh farmers. To facilitate the procurement process, Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC), acting on behalf of the food department has issued a set of guidelines to prevent bribery allegations at direct procurement centres.

It also issued a warning against procuring paddy from traders or brokers backed by local bigwigs. Aadhaar authentication for farmers selling their produce came into force at a few centres on June 1 this year. The initiative has now been extended to all DPCs starting from this Kharif season, as confirmed by officials. Those unable to perform biometric authentication can verify themselves through OTP sent to their mobile phones. A. Annadurai, managing director of TNCSC, in his directive issued to district authorities, said, “Paddy should only be procured from farmers.

If any paddy is found to have been procured from sources other than farmers, the procurement officer of DPC and others will face legal action.” He also added that if any worker at a DPC delays procurement due to bribery, that person should immediately be relieved from the job.

Annadurai told TNIE that the number of paddy procurement centres for each district could be determined by the committee headed by the Collector. “Depending on the harvest and the extent of cultivation in each district, the collectors will decide on opening DPCs,” he said. G Saravanan, president of Eri Pasana Vivasayigal Sangam (Lake Water Irrigation Farmers’ Association) in Tiruvannamalai, said, “The Central government’s agriculture research agency has estimated the expense of paddy cultivation at Rs 90,000 per hectare. However, the MSP has only been increased by Rs 1 per kg. We incur expenses of Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000 per acre for paddy cultivation, which yields 26 to 27 quintals. We will get our due share only if MSP is hiked to Rs 2,500 per quintal,” he added.

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