Agri Business

Factor in family labour, rental cost while fixing MSP, urges farmers body CIFA

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on December 24, 2019

The Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations (CIFA) has asked the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to factor in the family labour employed and the cost of lease, while fixing the Minimum Support Price (MSP). Besides, the MSP should ensure the additional 50 per cent (of the cost of production) as recommended by Prof. Swaminathan Committee.

“The contribution of agriculture to GDP has remained constant in spite of increased productivity as the prices of agricultural produce have either remained constant or reduced. Thus, inflation needs to be a factor while determining the MSP,” the CIFA has said.

The CIFA has submitted a memorandum to the Finance Minister with a list of demands ahead of the Budget preparation.

The Budget for 2020-21 should also do something about the availability of credit for farmers. “Credit availability is a big issue for farmers due to which they remain at the mercy of money lenders. Despite initiatives taken by the Central and State governments, timely credit is not available to the farmers and more so to the tenant farmers,” Bojja Dasaratha Rami Reddy, Secretary General of CIFA, has said.

In order to achieve the $5-trillion mark, the country should have a stable long term agricultural and rural policy to ensure that the rural populace has a level playing field vis-à-vis urbanites .

“Agriculture is the only sector which has a net negative return on investment (RoI) as the priority is to keep the inflation low resulting in farmers getting lower prices for their produce. This is adversely impacting farmers’ ability to invest, expand, and improve farm practices,” it said.

Fodder banks

On the paddy stubble burning challenge, he said it is creating a serious environmental issue. “While they are burning stubble in large tracts, lakhs of farmers in other parts of the country are facing fodder shortage,” he said.

In order to resolve this paradox, the Union Government should establish fodder banks to encourage farmers selling the paddy stubbles. While generating additional income to farmers in one part of the country, these banks would help farmers in other regions to address the challenge of fodder shortage.

Published on December 24, 2019

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