Paddy procurement at MSP has risen by 18 per cent so far this kharif marketing season to 614.27 lakh tonnes, valuing nearly Rs 1.16 lakh crore, amid farmers protest at Delhi-borders against three new agri marketing reform laws.
“In the ongoing Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2020-21, Government continues to procure Kharif 2020-21 crops at MSP from farmers as per existing MSP Schemes, as was done in previous seasons,” an official statement said.
Kharif marketing season starts from October.
The government has procured 614.27 lakh tonnes of paddy up to February 5, up 17.69 per cent from 521.93 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous year.
“About 85.67 lakh farmers have already been benefitted from the ongoing KMS procurement Operations with MSP value of Rs 1,15,974.36 crore,” the statement said.
Of the total purchase of 614.27 lakh tonnes, Punjab alone has contributed 202.82 lakh tonnes which is 33.01 per cent of total procurement.
The Centre procures wheat and rice to meet its requirement under the National Food Security Act and other welfare schemes. It procures other crops like pulses, oilseeds, coarse cereals and cotton, if market prices fall below MSP.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi-borders for over two-months now, seeking repeal of three laws that were enacted in September last year.
Farmer unions are also demanding a legal guarantee of the minimum support price (MSP).
Eleven rounds of talks have been held between the Government and 41 farmer unions to break the deadlock but stalemate continues.
The Unions have rejected the government’s offer to suspend the laws for 1-1.5 years and form a joint committee to find solutions. These laws have already been stayed for implementation till further order by the Supreme Court.