Photos: Kharif farmers stare at low prices despite record harvests

Multiple Kharif or summer-sown crops are selling below federally set Minimum Support Prices (MSP) as record harvests have brought down prices. According to the agriculture ministry’s portal Agmarknet, crops such as soyabean, ragi, maize and cotton are selling up to 30% below MSP even as the country is looking at a record output of kharif food grains at 144.5 million tonnes this year. Price dip in the market selling rates has also come at the same time when farmers across the country are protesting against a set of agriculture reform laws that have been recently introduced in the system to liberalize farm trade.

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2020 06:14 PM IST 8 Photos
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A farm worker harvests wheat crop in a field during harvest season in Kurukshetra on September 29. Multiple Kharif or summer-sown crops are selling below federally set Minimum Support Prices (MSP) as record harvests have brought down prices being offered at a time when farmers are protesting against the new agri-reform laws. (Amal KS / HT Photo)

A farm worker harvests wheat crop in a field during harvest season in Kurukshetra on September 29. Multiple Kharif or summer-sown crops are selling below federally set Minimum Support Prices (MSP) as record harvests have brought down prices being offered at a time when farmers are protesting against the new agri-reform laws. (Amal KS / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2020 06:14 PM IST
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Fruit vendors wait for buyers at a wholesale market in Bengaluru. For over two dozen crops, MSPs are fixed at fifty percent over cost but that does not necessarily lead to higher farm incomes. This is mostly because government’s procurement at MSP rates is largely restricted to wheat and rice. Remaining crops fetch returns that are dictated by market demands. (Aijaz Rahi / AP)

Fruit vendors wait for buyers at a wholesale market in Bengaluru. For over two dozen crops, MSPs are fixed at fifty percent over cost but that does not necessarily lead to higher farm incomes. This is mostly because government’s procurement at MSP rates is largely restricted to wheat and rice. Remaining crops fetch returns that are dictated by market demands. (Aijaz Rahi / AP)

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2020 06:14 PM IST
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Farmers harvest Sorghum crop at Nandlapur village in Karad on October 5. According to Agmarknet - the agriculture ministry’s portal that tracks prices in mandis or wholesale markets, crops such as soyabean, ragi, maize and cotton, are selling up to 30% below MSPs this harvest season. (PTI)

Farmers harvest Sorghum crop at Nandlapur village in Karad on October 5. According to Agmarknet - the agriculture ministry’s portal that tracks prices in mandis or wholesale markets, crops such as soyabean, ragi, maize and cotton, are selling up to 30% below MSPs this harvest season. (PTI)

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2020 06:14 PM IST
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Labourers clean rice grain at a grain market in Bathinda on October 3. Unprofitable sales have come despite the government’s announcement that it would procure 1.4 million tonnes of pulses and oilseeds at MSP rates under its “price support scheme,” according to an order of the agriculture ministry last week. (PTI)

Labourers clean rice grain at a grain market in Bathinda on October 3. Unprofitable sales have come despite the government’s announcement that it would procure 1.4 million tonnes of pulses and oilseeds at MSP rates under its “price support scheme,” according to an order of the agriculture ministry last week. (PTI)

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2020 06:14 PM IST
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A farmer sits on top of sacks filled with grain at New Grain Market in Chandigarh on October 3. For efficient farm markets, the government recently passed three laws which will allow farmers to bypass state-controlled market yards run by agricultural produce market committees (APMCs) and enter into five-year farming contracts with agribusinesses. (PTI)

A farmer sits on top of sacks filled with grain at New Grain Market in Chandigarh on October 3. For efficient farm markets, the government recently passed three laws which will allow farmers to bypass state-controlled market yards run by agricultural produce market committees (APMCs) and enter into five-year farming contracts with agribusinesses. (PTI)

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2020 06:14 PM IST
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A farm worker seen harvesting wheat crop in a field in Kurukshetra on September 29. NR Bhanumurthy, vice-chancellor of Bengaluru’s BR Ambedkar School of Economics told HT that the opening up of state-run APMC markets to private competition alone will not work unless other actions such as efficient crop insurance, expansion of food processing, storage infrastructure and better market information systems are put in place. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

A farm worker seen harvesting wheat crop in a field in Kurukshetra on September 29. NR Bhanumurthy, vice-chancellor of Bengaluru’s BR Ambedkar School of Economics told HT that the opening up of state-run APMC markets to private competition alone will not work unless other actions such as efficient crop insurance, expansion of food processing, storage infrastructure and better market information systems are put in place. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2020 06:14 PM IST
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Members of various farmers’ organizations block a railway track in protest against the new reform laws in Patiala district on October 1. Farmers’ groups are protesting against the move to end the monopoly of APMCs, because they fear deregulation will leave them vulnerable to powerful agribusinesses and in an even weaker negotiating position than before. They also fear the reforms may weaken the MSP mechanism. (Bharat Bhushan / HT Photo)

Members of various farmers’ organizations block a railway track in protest against the new reform laws in Patiala district on October 1. Farmers’ groups are protesting against the move to end the monopoly of APMCs, because they fear deregulation will leave them vulnerable to powerful agribusinesses and in an even weaker negotiating position than before. They also fear the reforms may weaken the MSP mechanism. (Bharat Bhushan / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2020 06:14 PM IST
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A farmer burns straw stubble in a field at night after the paddy crop harvest in Karnal on September 29. According to an HT report, prices could further dip in October, potentially intensifying farmer protests. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

A farmer burns straw stubble in a field at night after the paddy crop harvest in Karnal on September 29. According to an HT report, prices could further dip in October, potentially intensifying farmer protests. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2020 06:14 PM IST
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