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Input costs to give returns to farmers: PM Modi

PM Modi said all input costs would be included while fixing MSPs of various crops and this would help to double the income of farmers by 2022.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2018 21:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PM Modi,Farmers,MSP
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration of Krishi Unnati Mela 2018, at Pusa, in New Delhi on March 17, 2018. (Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reiterated that federally-fixed minimum support prices (MSPs) for crops would be at least 1.5 times the cultivation costs. This translates to 50% returns.

The PM also enumerated the cost components that would go into the methodology.

Speaking at the Krishi Unnati Mela (Farm Progress fair), Modi said all input costs would be included while fixing MSPs of various crops and this would help to double the income of farmers by 2022.

The prime minister said critics were “spreading confusion and creating an atmosphere of despair” over the MSP decision.

“The cost of production will include elements such as hired labour, expenses on their own or rented machinery as well as livestock, cost of seeds and fertilisers, expenses on irrigation, revenue being given to state government, interest on working capital, and rent of leased land among others,” he said.

He also appealed to states to adopt model laws drafted by the Centre to speed up reforms in the agriculture sector. “We are working hard to ensure that farmers receive better prices for their crops and in the budget we have announced that MSPs will be determined in a way which will ensure 50% returns over costs borne by the farmer,” the PM said.

Speaking about the fair, Modi said such events ought to be held in remote areas so that farmers benefited.

“There should be an analysis of the impact of such melas. What has been the impact on farmers and if they have learned from mela,” he said adding, “Farmers need to adopt new methods like bee-keeping, use solar power and create wealth from farm waste.” He also appealed to farmers to use machinery subsidised by the government to manage crop residues, instead of burning them. He then urged them to grow more of bamboo and edible oilseeds, which are largely imported.

The Niti Aayog has begun consultations with states on policy options to ensure implementation of the MSP for 24 major crops.

The Centre might have to choose more than one mechanism, depending on what the states prefer.

These could either be direct procurement (buying of produce) from farmers, payment of the difference between minimum support price (MSP) and the ruling average price or a direct lump sum payment at the beginning of each sowing season.

The Centre also expects private-sector proposals to procure in exchange of incentives, such as tax breaks.

First Published: Mar 17, 2018 17:23 IST