Kerala farmers to get MSP for vegetables, fruits

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on September 28, 2020 Published on September 28, 2020

₹35 crore allocated under scheme for current year

In a first, Kerala last week announced a minimum support price for farm-fresh fruits and vegetables with effect from November 1, Kerala Formation Day. The State will procure the produce when prices drop below cost of production.

VS Sunil Kumar, State Agriculture Minister, who is under quarantine from Covid-19 infection, told BusinessLine over phone that the government has earmarked ₹110 crore for the scheme with the objective to fix the right price for the produce, raise production and encourage farming. The amount allocated under the scheme for the current year (till March) is ₹35 crore.

In the first phase, a list of 16 crops including certain vegetables as well as Nendran banana and pineapple which are affected by price fluctuation, will be eligible for MSP, the Minister said. The MSP will be cost of production plus 20 per cent; it will be revised each year.

Boosting production

To enhance vegetable production, the Kerala government has launched schemes such as Subiksha Keralam and Jeevani. All of them have started yielding results with production touching 15 lakh tonnes from a meagre 6.5 lakh tonnes when the present LDF government had assumed office in 2016. This year, the government is targeting 16 lakh tonnes and the MSP announcement is a step towards encouraging more farmers to take up vegetable cultivation, said the Minister. “The MSP is to guarantee return for farmers for their produce and to retain them in farming activities”.

There would, however, be a ceiling to avail MSP, which is fixed at two acre per famer.

Farmers who wish to be part of the scheme should register on the agriculture information management system portal, so as to assure that only locally produced vegetables are eligible.

Vegetable prices in the State are now ruling on the higher side this week by about 30 per cent compared to last month, especially for commodities such as onions, small onions, carrot and beans etc due to lower arrivals from other states, a trader in Ernakulam market said.

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Published on September 28, 2020
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