MSP has saturated in some states, but can still  double farmers’ incomes in others, says Niti Ayog’s Chand.

Farmers’ income can be doubled by ensuring a minimum support price in states like Uttar Pradesh, said Ramesh Chand, a member of Niti Ayogi, while suggesting that states should shape their agricultural policies according to the current environment in the country.   Addressing the Rural Voice conclave on agriculture on the National Farmers’ Day on Saturday, Chand said there are states where farmers’ income can be doubled immediately by ensuring they get MSP for their cultivation. “A state like Uttar Pradesh has such opportunities through MSP. On the other hand, there are states (like Punjab) which have reached saturation,” Chand said. Also suggested that farmers’ incomes can be  significantly increased by focusing on high-quality and health-oriented food. He appealed to the farmers to put pressure on the states and implement the policies in the areas  under their jurisdiction.  

  “We must continue our agricultural policy according to  the current environment. For India to become a developed country by 2047, the country’s per capita income must increase 6-7 times. The agriculture sector plays an important role in making India a leading country in the world,  Pointing out that at least 4-5 per cent growth in agriculture is also necessary to ensure inclusive growth in India’s economy, Chand said, “States like  Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have shown  6-7 per cent growth in agriculture percentage which is better than even production. The same growth arc can be repeated in other parts of the country.  Also said that the government’s share of agricultural investments is around 16-17 percent, and most of the investments are made by farmers themselves. He complained that the corporate sector  treated the rural economy only as a market. Farmer leader V M Singh, who led the movement for legal guarantee of MSP, expressed hope for the next five years, saying the government should ensure that farmers get  MSP, which should be based on 50 percent profit above C2 (gross total) production costs.

 the farmers not to be divided on the basis of caste or religion. C2 cost is the production cost of A2+FL plus the imputed rental value of owned land plus interest on  capital, while A2+FL is all costs paid plus the imputed value of family labor. Bharat Krishak Samaj president Ajay Vir Jakhar said farmers’ leaders should stop demanding C2 cost + 50 percent profit as Punjab farmers are already getting such prices for paddy and wheat. All their produce has been acquired by the government, but there is still a demonstration/outcry by the biggest farmers in the state. According to CACP reports, Punjab’s rice procurement accounts for 99 percent of its production and  the  cost of production (C2) in 2023-24 is ₹ 1,462 per quintal for paddy and ₹ 1,503 per quintal for wheat. But the state government has fixed production costs at ₹ 2,089 per quintal for paddy and ₹ 2,051 per quintal for wheat in 2023-24. 

 According to the all India average cost of production of ₹ 1,455 per quintal ((A2+FL) and ₹ 1,911 per quintal (C2), the government has fixed the MSP of rice at ₹ 2,203 per quintal (Class A)  the MSP of wheat is ₹ 2,275 per quintal compared to all India with an average cost of production of ₹ 1,128 per quintal ((A2+FL) and ₹ 1,652 per quintal (C2). Raipi’s actual production cost ranged from ₹ 784/km in Punjab to ₹ 3,101/tonne in Maharashtra in 2019-20 and 2021-22. Paddy production cost estimates  for  Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal were higher than the CACP estimates for the  crop year 2023-24 (July-June), while  Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh estimates were lower than CACP estimates.   

Former Amul MD R S Sodhi said  there is huge investment potential in branded milk and products. He estimates an investment of ₹ 1 lakh crore over the next 6-7 years, which can provide 72 million jobs. Former NABARD chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala suggested states to speed up agricultural leasing laws  to encourage farmers to invest in cultivation.  Roshan Lal Tamak, Managing Director, DCM Shriram, said that the policy ecosystem in areas such as ethanol contributed to the success of blending and thanks to this policy move, the sugar industry can now invest at least 500 compressed biogas (CBG) plants that promote ecological agriculture.

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