Farmers seek inclusion of high cultivation cost into MSP

"Everywhere, farmers' demand is to give serious thought to the cost of cultivation while fixing the support price of all agricultural crops, including sugarcane," Pawar told PTI yesterday.

Farmers are witnessing an increase in their production costs, especially, after the hike in fuel prices and rise in labour costs, he said. The country's foodgrains production has been improving because of good hike in MSP over last few years, he added.

The government fixes the minimum support price (MSP) of 21 crops to ensure remunerative prices to farmers to encourage higher investment and production of agricultural commodities. MSP is fixed after taking into account the suggestions of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).

The minister said that the government is in the process of appointing the Chairman of CACP. In the last seven years, the support price of major crops has almost doubled. As a result, the country's rice and wheat production has increased substantially, achieving a record output of 99.18 million tonnes and 80.68 million tonnes, respectively, in the 2008-09 crop year.

For instance, MSP of paddy has increased from Rs 560-590/quintal in 2004-05 to Rs 1,000-1,030/quintal this year. Similarly, wheat price has risen from Rs 640/quintal to Rs 1,120/quintal in the review period. Cane price has increased from Rs 74.5/quintal in 2004-05 to Rs 139.12/quintal this year.

To boost pulses production, the government has increased the MSP of gram to Rs 2,100/quintal and masur at Rs 2,250/quintal this year.

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