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Price policy report for kharif crops for 2018-19 of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices

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Dion Global

12 Feb 2019

Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) in its Price Policy report for Kharif Crops for 2018-19 season has suggested bringing a legislation conferring on farmers the ‘Right to Sell at MSP’ to instill confidence among framers so that their produce is not sold/ procured below Minimum Support Price (MSP) and farmers are not exploited by traders.

Government has increased MSPs substantially for all mandated crops including paddy for the season 2018-19. MSP of paddy (common) has been increased by Rs. 200 and fixed at Rs 1750 per quintal and paddy (grade A) has been increased by Rs 180 and fixed at Rs 1770 per quintal for 2018-19 season which provide adequate return over cost of production.The National Commission on Farmers (NCF) headed by Dr. M. S. Swaminathan has recommended that the MSP should be at least 50 percent more than the weighted average cost of production. However, when the National Policy for Farmers, 2007 was finalized, this recommendation of providing 50 per cent returns over cost of production was not included. Dr. M. S. Swaminathan in his Report on NCF had discussed different dimensions of fixing MSPs, but while finalizing National Policy on Farmers, the then Government had accepted the current established methods.

The Union Budget for 2018-19 had announced the pre-determined principle to keep MSP at levels of one and half times the cost of production. Accordingly, Government has increased MSPs for all mandated crops with a return of at least 50 percent over cost of production for the season 2018-19. This decision of the Government was also a historic one as it redeemed the promise of fixing the MSPs at least at a level of 50 per cent return over cost of production