Now that the rules have been repealed, agricultural associations need to join in and shape discussions on how to make MSP more effective.

On December 4, agricultural associations will decide on the future of the ongoing protests along the Delhi border. The Center asked for names to be part of a committee proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “make MSP (Low Support Price) more effective and transparent.” The unions must respond positively and join the negotiations for the next stage. When the government repeals the rules, it is wise to avoid repeating the MSP law. B. This is an important part of agricultural reform and eliminates the need for debate.

True, the current system, which only announces MSPs, makes little sense if those prices are not reached by farmers in most crops. According to this paper, the implementation of MSP is only successful for four crops (paddy, wheat, sugarcane and cotton) and only five (chana, mustard, peanut, tur / arhar and Mong). In the remaining 14 known crops, MSPs are on paper or not, without mentioning the animals and fruits and vegetables. Farmers cannot be blamed for demanding a certain price for their crops, which also increases their risk of weather and other production hazards. The worst consequence of the current system is that farmers are mainly producing those crops where MSPs are certified. These are already overgrown and waterlogged crops. So the solution is to apply MSPs to all crops – especially the country’s short and low water consumption.

But making MSPs effective is not the same as giving legal status. The “food rights” have been implemented in most regions, as well as a limited amount (5 kg / person / month) of rice or wheat. How can “MSP rights” be delivered to each farmer on multiple crops? The government cannot afford to buy or store all the unlimited amount of crops in MSPs, either physically or financially. At most, one sort of deficit payment system – where farmers can receive MSP for a single crop and the average market price during the harvest season – can be considered. But this requires debate and discussion. By actively participating in it, agricultural associations enrich and shape both decision-making and policy-making. Their share could not be increased.

This editorial first appeared on December 3, 2021, in the issue of “Fresh Land”.


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