Agri Business

Mandi prices of 10 Kharif crops below MSP in Oct-Nov

Prabhudutta Mishra | | | Updated on: Dec 05, 2021
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Nearly 2 to 34 per cent drop in prices was recorded in the first two months of this harvesting season

Average mandi prices in leading producing States were 2 to 34 per cent lower than their respective minimum support prices (MSPs) in at least 10 crops during the first two months of this Kharif harvesting season.

According to data maintained by Agmarknet portal, of the 12 major crops in which MSPs are announced, only prices of cotton and soyabean were higher by 27 and 26 per cent, respectively during October and November. Niger and sesame were not included in the analysis.

‘Need clarity on MSP’

Despite the Central government’s move to repeal the three farm laws, farmer leaders have decided to continue with their protests until the government provides a legally enforceable MSP mechanism. They have also asked the government for a formal clarification on MSP issue.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Saturday, named five representatives who will negotiate with the government to resolve issues, including MSP.

“If the MSP is given legal guarantee, there will be no pressure on the government to buy the crops since farmers will get the minimum rates anywhere,” said Dharmendra Malik, spokesman of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU).

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Amid farmers’ protests, the government has increased rice procurement to the extent of half of the production during 2020-21 season (October-September), as against 30 per cent in 2013-14. This year, the procurement has also been progressing well with as much as 18.6 million tonnes (mt) being bought until November 25, even as the target is for 50 mt by March 31 as purchases will be completed by then in most States. Procurement of Kharif-grown paddy in a few States like Assam will continue till May.

Rice procurement in Punjab in the on-going season has reached 12.5 mt, exceeding the target of 11.3 mt, while in Haryana, the purchases were at 3.7 mt, marginally lower than the 4-mt target. Procurement has ended in both States.

On the other hand, the average mandi prices of paddy in Uttar Pradesh, the second-biggest grower after West Bengal, stood four per cent below the MSP of ₹1,940/quintal during October-November.

“With the continuation of free rice and wheat distribution under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for four months until March-end, the open market demand will reduce, resulting in lower buying activities of paddy crops. The farmers, if unable to sell their crops at MSP to government agencies, will face difficulties,” said Arun Goyal, a trader from Kanpur. As the arrivals in mandi further increase, paddy prices are likely to fall further, he added.

The highest fall (34 per cent) was noticed in ragi, a major nutri cereal, followed by 29 per cent in bajra, and 25 per cent in jowar. While the Centre has put the States responsible for the procurement of coarse cereals as per the offtake in the public distribution system, many States complain there is hardly any demand for them.

Mandi prices vs MSP

*Average state mandi prices during October-November

**UP is second-biggest producer after West Bengal

Source: Agmarknet portal

Published on December 05, 2021

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