That the announcement of minimum guidance price (MSP) for several crops has turn out to be a ritualistic workout in excess of the years has still again been verified by the latest Cabinet determination to hike the MSP for the 2021-22 Kharif season crops.
The certain intent of the price hikes and supposed results are not clear. The intention of MSP should to be to ship a sign to growers that they get a get in touch with on what crop to improve, guarantee them of a minimum price and really encourage a change from one particular crop to a further where needed.
In India, agriculture is subject matter to quite a few threats. Crop cultivation is seasonal and regional in character. The output industry tends to be volatile. In the course of the harvesting season, deliver charges tend to collapse. MSP offers assurance of a minimum price so that the farmer recovers his value and also will get a first rate return on financial investment.
This author firmly believes that MSP must basically act as a sovereign assurance given by the governing administration to farmers that they will not be authorized to undergo losses if charges fall down below the specified guidance price. If this is not the case, MSP loses its sanctity.
Importantly, MSP is an possibilities agreement where the governing administration is the Selections seller and the farmer the Selections buyer. In the event, the governing administration is obliged to acquire from farmers if the price falls down below MSP but at the exact time, the farmer is less than no obligation to provide to the governing administration if the price rules previously mentioned MSP and is absolutely free to provide in the open up industry.
Implementation of the MSP policy is skewed. Rice and wheat garner all the consideration, even though other crops, together with coarse cereals, oilseeds and pulses, typically languish. If MSP is not backed by a strong nationwide proactive procurement system, it is doomed to are unsuccessful in a manufacturing-centric approach.
Concentration on rice and wheat has established its individual financial and ecological issues. As a nation we can not any extra ignore the ecological disaster waiting to materialize due to the fact of grain mono-cropping in the country’s breadbasket and open up-finished procurement.
MSP has to get into account domestic and international industry ailments. Better MSP is no assurance that growers will benefit as other attendant policies – exim trade, customs tariff and use – negate the influence. Pulses are a superior example. We endeavor to deliver extra, but do small to enhance use.
The case of oilseeds is tragic. As a crop in chronic shorter supply, growers should to benefit immensely. Yet, oilseed charges have extra typically than not ruled down below the specified MSP and has distressed growers. Obviously, the unimaginative trade and tariff policy for vegetable oils negates the intent of increased MSP.
It is time the silo mentality among several ministries – Agriculture, Foodstuff, Consumer Affairs, Commerce – is replaced by a holistic approach that usually takes a comprehensive look at of the agriculture sector, together with manufacturing, use and trade.
(The author is a policy commentator and agribusiness specialist. Sights are own)