So far this Kharif marketing season, paddy procurement at Minimum Support Price has risen by 18 percent to 614.27 lakh tonnes, valuing nearly Rs 1.16 lakh crore, in the midst of farmers protesting against three new agri-marketing reform laws at Delhi borders.
Government continues to procure Kharif 2020-21 crops at MSP from farmers in the current Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2020-21, as per existing MSP Schemes, as was done in previous seasons,’ an official statement stated.
The marketing season for Kharif begins in October.
Up to 5 February, the government procured 614.27 lakh tonnes of paddy, up 17.69 percent from 521.93 lakh tonnes in the previous year’s comparable period.
Approximately 85.67 lakh farmers already have gained from the ongoing KMS procurement operations with a Rs 1,15,974.36 crore MSP valuation, the statement stated.
Punjab alone contributed 202.82 lakh tonnes of the overall acquisition of 614.27 lakh tonnes, which is 33.01 per cent of total procurement.
The Centre procures wheat and rice under the National Food Security Act and other healthcare programs to meet with its requirements. If market prices dip below MSP, it procures additional crops such as pulses, oilseeds, coarse cereals and cotton.
For more than two months now, thousands of farmers, primarily from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at the Delhi border, demanding the repeal of three laws that were enforced last September.
Farmers’ unions also appealed for a legal promise of MSP.
To break the deadlock, eleven rounds of talks have been held between the government and 41 farmers’ unions, but the stalemate persists.
The Unions declined an offer by the government to suspend laws for 1-1.5 years and to form a joint committee to find solutions. These laws have now been postponed pending further order by the Supreme Court for implementation.