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Price deficit payment scheme Farmers continue to protest, govt presents rosy picture with stats

Farmers protest but armed with statistics the authorities concerned say the farmers have given great response to the scheme and several other states too are keen to implement it

bhopal Updated: Nov 12, 2017 21:38 IST
Ranjan, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Farmers,Bhavantar,protest
FILE PHOTO

Though farmers are protesting against Mukhyamantri Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojna (CM Price Deficit Payment Scheme) and a farmer allegedly made an attempt to commit suicide in Damoh on Friday frustrated over low price offered to his urad produce, armed with statistics the authorities concerned say the farmers have given great response to the scheme and several other states too are keen to implement it.

A NITI Ayog proposed scheme Bhavantar scheme is meant for government keeping away from procurement for certain agriculture produce, let the market play its role in the process and provide a cushion to farmers by giving them a certain amount of money between a model price and minimum support price (MSP) in case they get less price than the MSP for their produce from the traders at the mandis.

The crops covered under Bhavantar include soybean, groundnut, moong, urad, tuar, maize, til and ramtil. The pilot project covers the entire state.

At Agar-Malwa mandi farmers beat up some employees and traders some time back agitated over forming of an alleged cartel by traders to bring down the prices. There were reports of protests from farmers at several other mandis too including Bhopal compelling chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to monitor the scheme on his own and preponing the payment to the farmers for sale of their produce up to October 31.

Sitaram Kurmi, the farmer who allegedly made an attempt to end his life told media persons in Damoh he was offered about Rs 1300 par quintal for his Urad crop. He was reeling under a debt of more than Rs 1.5 lakh.

Principal secretary Agriculture Rajesh Rajora said Rs 248.30 crore would be disbursed among 1.55 lakh farmers registered under the scheme for sale of their produce amounting to 509619 metric tonnes between October 16 and October 30, 2017.

He admitted that the payment was being preponed in view of confusion prevailing among farmers on payment issue. As per the scheme the farmers were to be given the amount after sale of their produce was over for kharif crop in December.

Rajora said in several states these crops were being bought by the respective government under MSP but the fact remained that they had capped upper limit up to a marginal percentage of the produce.

Like, he added, in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Telangana only about 3 lakh metric tonnes of soybean was purchased whereas the produce in these states put together stood at about 50 lakh metric tonnes. Whereas in Madhya Pradesh soybean arrival in mandis was expected more than 30 lakh metric tonnes under Bhavantar scheme.

Rajora claimed several states including Maharashtra had shown interest in implementing the scheme. The Central government too was taking feedback from Madhya Pradesh at regular intervals so that the scheme could be implemented well across the country.

Madhya Pradesh State Agriculture Marketing Board managing director Faiz Ahmad Kidwai said it was wrong to say that rates at mandis had fallen due to Bhavantar scheme.

National general secretary Rashtriya Kisan Majdoor Sangh Ravidutt Singh said, “The farmers in the state think they are going to get the difference amount between the MSP rate and the rate on which they sell their produce. They are hardly aware of model rate. The traders are also misleading them by purchasing the produce at very low price and saying to the farmers that the difference amount will be paid to them by the government under Bhavantar scheme.”

First Published: Nov 12, 2017 21:38 IST