Economic Survey on Thursday expressed doubt whether small and marginal farmers are getting the benefits of a sharp jump in the support price of various crops.
"Inability of a large number of small and marginal farmers to directly access the agri-market puts a question mark on increases in Minimum Support Price (MSP) actually benefitting such farmers," the survey, which was tabled in Parliament today, said.
According to government estimates, small and marginal farmers, which owns less than five hectares of land each, are about 80 per cent of the about 60 crore farming population in the country.
The MSP of paddy (rice) has been increased to Rs 1,000 a quintal (including Rs 50 bonus) for 2009-10 from Rs 560 a quintal in 2004-05. Similarly, there has been about 72 per cent hike in wheat MSP in last five years and currently stands at Rs 1,100 a quintal.
The MSPs of pulses have been hiked significantly from Rs 1,390 to Rs 2,300 in tur (65 per cent rise), Rs 1,410 to Rs 2,760 in moong (96 per cent) and Rs 1,410 to Rs 2,520 in urad (79 per cent) during last five years.
Among oilseeds, the MSPs of soyabean and groundnut have seen a rise of 50 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively while that of mustard has gone up by mere eight per cent in last five years.
The findings in the survey assumes significance as the government has been attributing that significant hike in MSP of crops as one of the factors for the prevailing high prices of essential commodities.