Farmers have expressed shock at the Centre’s announcement of a marginal hike in the minimum support price (MSP) for crops for the 2019-20 season. They said that the Rs 65 increase per quintal is much lower than last year’s hike of Rs 200.
The cabinet has approved a hike in MSP for all kharif crops for 2019-20 season including paddy, tur, moong and urad pulses stating that it would give a major boost to the farmer’s income. The decision was taken at the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister. Accordingly, the price of paddy (common grade) as well as A grade has been enhanced by Rs 65 to Rs 1,815 from Rs 1,750 earlier. During 2017-18, the price was Rs 1,550 per quintal for common variety and Rs 1,590 for A grade.
“At a time when farmers are demanding that MSP be enhanced to Rs 3,000 per quintal, the announcement has come as a shocker,” said president of Cauvery Irrigation Farmer’s Welfare Association, Mahathanapuram V Rajaram. Almost all states are reeling under acute water shortage whereas in Tamil Nadu it is a drought-like situation. Cost of fertilizer price has increased by 10%. As there is no power connection for pumpsets, farmers are forced to spend on diesel to irrigate their crops, said district secretary of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, Ayilai Sivasuriyan.
“The Union government should enhance the MSP at least up to Rs 2,500. Farmers are clueless whether they should continue to cultivate or abandon their land”, he lamented. “PM Modi keeps saying that the farmers’ income would be doubled before 2022. When the cost of all other things such as input, diesel, seed, fertilizer and labour is skyrocketing, it remains a puzzle as to why the Centre brought down the MSP drastically,” secretary of Thanjavur District Cauvery Farmers Protection Association Swamimalai , S Vimalnathan said.