New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repeal of three contentious farm laws in his address to the nation on the morning of Gurupurab. The government had introduced three ordinances in September 2020, which were later on brought to Loksabha and passed through voice vote mode. After the passage of contentious bills in Rajyasabha and its subsequent approval by the President, the bills became laws following which various farmer groups started protesting against them. Since November 26 last year, a large number of farmers have been protesting outside the borders of National Capital to demand the repeal of farm laws, legislative assurance on Minimum Support Price and related issues of relevance to the farmers.

After Centre’s decision to repeal the farm laws, the farmer groups have made it clear that the matter of Minimum Support Price remains an issue of concern for them. The farmer leaders such as Rakesh Tikait have been demanding an official notification in this regard and a law to guarantee Minimum Support Price to the farmers.

What is Minimum Support Price?

Minimum Support Price is the minimum price of a particular crop at which the government buys it out from the farmers. MSP is usually one and a half time more than the costs incurred by the farmer while producing the crop. The government does not pay farmers less than the MSP while buying the crops.

What decides the MSP?

The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) decides the Minimum Support Price for Kharif and Rabi crops. The MSP of sugarcane is decided by Sugarcane Commission.

Why MSP is important?

The MSP is decided so that the farmers keep on getting the basic minimum costs of their crop.

PM Modi announces a committee on MSP, related farming matters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation announced the formation of a Committee to enhance zero-budget based farming methods, farming according to the changing dynamics of the nation as well as making the MSP more transparent and impactful. The committee will reportedly be constituted by the representatives of central government, state governments, agriculture experts and scientists.

Why a law to guarantee MSP is contentious?

According to the findings of Shanta Kumar Committee only six per cent farmers are able to reap the benefits of MSP, meaning 94 per cent of farmers remain beyond the scope of MSP.

According to the government and agriculture experts, MSP as an idea is from the time when India had food crisis. In those days of war and food crisis in mid-1960s, the government used to secure the food grains from farmers to send it out across the country through Public Distribution System. At this point of time, India has excess of food grains. The agriculture experts add that it will become a massive logistical issue for the government to house the excess of food grains bought from the farmers at Minimum Support Price.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma