'Timely announcement of MSP for rabi can help farmers plan better'

'Timely announcement of MSP for rabi can help farmers plan better'
Source: IANS

New Delhi, Sep 13 (IANS) Timely announcement of MSP for Rabi 2022-23 will help farmers plan their crops better with advance knowledge of which crops can get them better earnings, Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal said on Monday.

The Minimum Support Price (MSP) for rabi crops is, in most years, announced in October or later, when most of the farmers are done with sowing. Last year, it was announced on September 23 and for the year 2022-23, it was announced last week, on September 8.

"This has been a deliberate attempt to announce the MSP for rabi season early so that the farmers get ample time to plan their crop. Earlier, the farmers had little choice," Agarwal told media persons.

With the demand and supply situation undergoing change as a result of higher income, and the focus on 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', the government has been leveraging MSP framework towards crop diversification, especially pulses and oil seeds, he said.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had on September 8 approved the increase in the MSP for all mandated Rabi crops for Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2022-23 with an aim to realigning the MSPs in favour of oilseeds, pulses and coarse cereals over wheat. That was done to encourage farmers shift to larger area under these crops and adopt best technologies and farm practices, to correct demand-supply imbalance.

Between 2014-15 and 2021-22, there has been a substantial hike in MSP for crops such as jowar (79 per cent), ragi (118 per cent), arhar (45 per cent), moong (58 per cent), gram (65 per cent), masur (79 per cent), sunflower (60 per cent), nigerseeds (93 per cent) and rapeseeds & mustard (63 per cent), according to government data.

The date of announcement of MSP for rabi crops in the 2011-12 was October 25, in 2012-13, it was November 1 and December 26, in 2013-14, it was announced on October 17, for 2014-15 on October 29, in 2015-16, on November 5, in 2016-17 on November 15, in 2017-18 on October 24, in 2018-19, the MSP was announced on October 3, in 2019-20, it was on October 23 while for last year, in 2020-21, the date was September 9, Agriculture Ministry data showed.