New Delhi: A month after sowing for the kharif season began, the Centre finally announced the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for 2018-19 season. In the light of massive and unrelenting farmer protests over the last two years owing to declining farm incomes, the government – with a few months to go before the Lok Sabha polls – has decided to provide significant increases for the kharif crops that MSP is announced for.
The MSP for the most significant kharif crop, paddy, has been increased by Rs 200 to Rs 1,750 per quintal, an increase of 13%. Ragi has seen the most significant percentage increase in its MSP, increasing by 52% to Rs 2,897 per quintal. Cotton, too, has seen a huge increase, rising from Rs 4,020 to Rs 5,150.
Arhar, on the other hand, has only seen an increase of 4% to Rs 5,675 per quintal. Similarly, urad has only seen an increase of 3% with the new MSP being set at Rs 5,600 per quintal.
However, it remains key how the increase in MSP is implemented as the government’s procurement mechanism has been known to be weak and only 6% of all farmers actually get the MSP.