Farmers want hike in wheat MSP

Disappointed over the Centre’s move of deferring decision on raising wheat MSP, farmers on Friday told the Punjab and Haryana that they should be compensated for “exorbitant” hike in farm input cost.

Farmer organisations have also warned of launching protests if the Centre did not announce a hike in minimum support price (MSP) of wheat. They are demanding that the wheat MSP should be raised to at least Rs 1,500 per quintal as there has been a “substantial” increase in price of inputs like fertilisers, labour, diesel and pesticide.

“We are quite disappointed over deferring of the Centre’s decision on wheat MSP, which is a major crop in Punjab and Haryana. This has come at a time when wheat sowing is in the process and farmers were expecting increase in MSP at Rs 1,500 per quintal,” said Karnal-based wheat grower V K Kapoor.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday had deferred the decision on wheat MSP in the wake of inter-ministerial differences. Kapoor, who is also the general secretary of Haryana Kisan Club, said, “The price of diammonium phosphate, a major input for wheat sowing, has risen to Rs 1,200 per bag from Rs 497 per bag last year. Prices of pesticides and insecticides have increased 10 to 15 per cent this year.”

Diesel price has also been revised upward by the Centre this year and labour cost also went up, putting burden on farmers, he said.

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