Ahead of the upcoming state elections, the cabinet committee on economic affairs approved the increase in the minimum support prices (MSPs) for all mandated Rabi crops for Rabi marketing season (RMS) 2022-23.
The increase in MSP is also aimed at mollifying farmers who are on the warpath against the three contentious farm laws. The farmers’ agitation can cause problems for the BJP in states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand.
The wheat crop has seen a rise of Rs 40 per quintal over the previous season’s MSP of Rs 1,975. The new price is Rs 2,015 per quintal.
The highest absolute increase in MSP over the previous year has been recommended for lentil (Masur) and rapeseeds and mustard (Rs.400 per quintal each) followed by gram (Rs.130 per quintal). In case of safflower, there has been an increase of Rs 114 per quintal, in comparison with last year. The differential remuneration is aimed at encouraging crop diversification.
The government said the increase in MSP for Rabi crops for RMS 2022-23 is in line with the Union Budget 2018-19 announcement of fixing the MSPs at a level of at least 1.5 times of the all-India weighted average cost of production, aiming a reasonably fair remuneration for the fanners. The expected returns to farmers over their cost of production are estimated to be highest in case of wheat and rapeseed and mustard (100 per cent each), followed by lentil (79 per cent), gram (74 per cent), barley (60 per cent) and safflower (50 per cent).
“Concerted efforts were made over the last few years to realign the MSPs in favour of oilseeds, pulses and coarse cereals to encourage farmers to shift to larger area under these crops and adopt best technologies and farm practices, to correct demand-supply imbalance,” the CCEA release said.