The government on Wednesday announced a marginal hike of Rs 20 a quintal in the support price of wheat to Rs 1,120, but the prices of masoor and gram dals have been raised sharply by up to Rs 380 a quintal to encourage farmers to grow more.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Wednesday approved the minimum support price (MSP) of rabi crops of 2010-11, Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters.
The MSP of wheat, a major rabi crop, was at Rs 1,100 per quintal in the last season.
The MSP is the price that the government pays to farmers while procuring their produce. The Centre procures wheat and rice from farmers for public distribution system (PDS).
As per the latest revision, the MSP of masoor dal has been raised by Rs 380 per quintal to Rs 2,250, while that of gram by Rs 340 per quintal to Rs 2,100 a quintal.
The government has raised the MSP of pulses substantially this year to boost production and cut dependence on imports.
The Agriculture Ministry is targeting to increase the pulses production to 16.5 million tonnes in 2010-11 from about 14.5 million tonnes in the previous year. India, the world's largest producer of pulses, imports 3.5-4 million tonnes to meet domestic demand of 18-19 million tonnes.
The CCEA also approved increase in mustard MSP by Rs 20 to Rs 1,850 per quintal. Safflower MSP has gone up to Rs 1,800 from Rs 1680 a quintal. Barley MSP has been increased to Rs 780 from Rs 750 per quintal.
The hike in MSP is based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
Higher support prices for kharif pulses had resulted in a sharp jump in acreage and production is estimated to rise to 6 million tonnes in the kharif season of the 2010-11 crop year from 4.3 million tonnes in the year-ago period.