State farmers make mockery of Rs 50 hike in paddy MSP for this season | punjab | Hindustan Times
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State farmers make mockery of Rs 50 hike in paddy MSP for this season

Farmers across the state are making mockery of the recent hike of Rs 50 per quintal in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of paddy by the central government as they feel it is not going to help them at all. They strongly lamented that this MSP revision is no less than a 'cruel joke' and shows languid approach of the government towards farmers and the farming sector.

punjab Updated: Jun 23, 2015 10:12 IST
Rameshinder Singh Sandhu

Farmers across the state are making mockery of the recent hike of Rs 50 per quintal in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of paddy by the central government as they feel it is not going to help them at all. They strongly lamented that this MSP revision is no less than a 'cruel joke' and shows languid approach of the government towards farmers and the farming sector.

With this hike, which was announced by the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) last week, now MSP for paddy for 2015-16 season has been increased from Rs 1, 360 per quintal from last year to Rs 1,410 per quintal.

Harcharan Singh Bains, adviser to Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, has already shared with HT that Punjab government as well as the farmers are not elated with this decision of the Centre as it can't help the farmers.

“We partially welcome the Centre's decision as the meagre MSP hike has not enthused paddy growers in Punjab at all,” Bains said.

HT toured various villages around Ludhiana where sowing of paddy is still on and met several farmers from various parts of the state at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in the past few days. They are not happy with the decision.

“Is our government really serious about the agriculture sector? Farmers go on committing suicides and those who are alive remain under extreme stress. How can Rs 50 help us in a time of high inflation?” a group of farmers said.

Hardeep Singh and Jagdeep Singh, farmers from Jalandhar and Amritsar, said, “We feel Punjab government must take up the matter with the Centre as majority of the farmers have already suffered huge loss due to crop damage because of inclement weather during wheat season. Considering the losses of wheat season, MSP for paddy should be at least Rs 2,100 per quintal for this kharif season.”

“Along with Centre, the state government has also not done much for its farmers. Had they been empathetic towards them, suicides would have declined among the farmers but they have been rising with every passing month,” farmers said.

As we spoke to agricultural experts, they also conceded that MSP hike of Rs 50 will not cover the expenditure of farmers and shall not help them.

PAU former vice-chancellor MS Kang said, “Rs 50 is very less amount. There is need to adopt renowned agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan's concept. According to him, whatever the inputs costs for the crop is spent by the farmers, 50% should be added to it while deciding its MSP to ensure profits for the farmers. But, in this Rs 50 MSP this concept has not be followed at all. Even the state government wants the same from the Centre and considering the farmers' situation, they need to be helped seriously.”

District chief agricultural officer Sukhpal Singh Sekhon said, “Farmers all over are not elated with this decision and want that MSP must be revised to at least up to Rs 2,000 or Rs 2,100 per quintal for this season.”

Meanwhile, most experts from PAU avoided commenting on this matter.