Kharif MSP is Unfair and Inflicts Losses on Farmers: AIKS
Representational image.( File Image)
All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) has called out the Union government for unfair Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for the Kharif Season 2023-24. The government announced the prices on June 7.
In its statement, the farmers' organisation said that "the MSP announced is unfair, belies the hopes of the farmers and inflicts huge losses in their incomes."
The statement recalled how Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, in the past, talked about doubling farmers' incomes. However, its announcement, as per AIKS, presents a different picture.
"Rising input costs coupled with unfair MSP will push large sections of the farmers, especially the small, marginal, and middle farmers as well as tenants, into indebtedness."
The announcement also did not match the longstanding promise made by PM Modi that the MSP would be given according to the Swaminathan Commission's recommendation of C2+50%.
"The losses suffered by paddy farmers because of the government not implementing C2+50% is about Rs 683.5/Qtl. If the Government estimate of about 4 tonnes/hectare is considered as the productivity, the losses suffered will be to the tune of Rs 27,340/hectare if C2 costs are taken into account. In Arhar, Moong, Urad, Sunflower, Sesamum, Nigerseed and Cotton, the losses per quintal range from around Rs 2,000/Qtl to even higher than Rs 3,000/Qtl."
The statement notes that the "estimates of the projected cost of production for paddy by Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal are higher than CACP (Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices) projections."
Moreover, AIKS highlights how the projects of various states in most crops are much higher than the CACP projections.
"In reality, the CACP plays the role of firstly reducing the cost of production in states and then taking a weighted average to arrive at the All India cost projections. For instance, while the C2 cost for paddy in Kerala projected by the state is Rs 2,847/Qtl, the CACP projection is only Rs 2,338/Qtl. The Punjab State projection of C2 cost for paddy is Rs 2,089/Qtl, while the CACP projects it as only Rs 1,462/Qtl."
The same pattern holds for Arhar/Tur, where Karnataka's C2 costs are projected at Rs 9588/Qtl while CACP projection is only Rs 5744/Qtl.
"For cotton, the Telangana state projections are Rs 11,031/Qtl while the CACP projections are far below at Rs 6264/Qtl, which is Rs 4,767/Qtl lesser."
AIKS alleged that in this system, farmers are repeatedly cheated.
"In cost calculations itself, farmers are first cheated. The farmers in States with higher costs of production are cheated the second time as the weighted average cost will invariably be lower than their actual costs. The third time farmers are cheated is since this MSP is mostly notional or on paper, as there is no assured procurement in most cases."
Moreover, the CACP and Union government discourage states like Kerala, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Bihar which give production bonuses or incentives.
"AIKS demands that the Union government led by the BJP, revise the MSP and enhance it according to the C2+50% formula and assure procurement. AIKS notes with concern that Jammu and Kashmir, after the abrogation of Article 370, are no longer being featured in the collection of CS data. The BJP Government should include J&K and also undertake procurement from farmers there. AIKS calls upon all its units to rise up in protest against the betrayal of farmers by the Narendra Modi-led BJP Government and expose their fraudulent claims."
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