TN Chief Minister urges Centre to hike minimum support price for milling copra to ₹125 a kg

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on August 19, 2020

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami   -  THE HINDU

For the 2020 copra season, the Centre had declared ₹99.60 per kg as MSP for milling copra

Tamil Nadu has urged the Centre to consider revision of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for milling copra from ₹99.60 to at least ₹125 per kg for the current 2020 copra season to safeguard the interest of coconut growers.

The Centre had fixed the MSP for crops such as paddy, ragi and pulses at 150 per cent of the cost of cultivation. The coconut farmers also need to be given adequate price for their produce to enable them to overcome increasing costs of production in the background of seasonal adversities, pest attacks and rising input costs, Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami said in a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.

Tamil Nadu is one of the major coconut growing States with an area of around 4.40 lakh hectares. Every year, based on the recommendation of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, the Centre declares MSP for various agricultural crops, including copra. For the 2020 copra season, the Centre has declared ₹99.60 per kg as MSP for milling copra.

The coconut plantations in the State in the past two years have faced many challenges like occurrence of Gaja cyclone in 2018 and incidence of Rugose Whitefly in 2019. Coconut growers incur substantial expenditure during harvesting, transportation and storage of harvested produce. Further, the lockdown due to Covid -19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact on the coconut farmers, who have to incur additional cost due to scarcity of labour and challenges in transportation.

Tamil Nadu government while communicating its views on the Price Policy for Copra 2020 season, had in January suggested ₹105 per kg for milling copra. At present, market rate in Tamil Nadu and nearby States prevails between ₹100 and ₹110 per kg. Hence, taking the challenges into consideration, it is felt that the present MSP for milling copra of ₹99.60 per kg will not be adequate to compensate their cost of production, Palaniswami said.

Published on August 19, 2020

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