Chandigarh: Even as protesting farm organizations demand a legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP), experts and the Agricultural Costs and Prices Commission (CACP) have insisted on government intervention in the market to offer a level playing field for farmers to sell their products.
In its “Pricing Policy for Rabi Crops: The 2022-23 Marketing Season”, ACCP recommended that “to encourage diversification into oilseeds and pulses, farmers should be assured of a remunerative price for pulses and oilseeds through the effective implementation of the price gap payment. (PDPS) and the private supply and storage system (PPSS) ”.
To guarantee remunerative prices for farmers, the Union government launched in September 2018 a framework program, Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan. food and public distribution department programs for purchasing paddy, wheat and nutri-grains / coarse grains, cotton and jute.
In its 2022-2023 rabi pricing policy, the ACCP observed: “Although the PSS has made remarkable progress in terms of pulse and oilseed supply in recent years, the PDPS and PPSS need to improve. their performance and scope. In addition, unlike cereal crops where active sourcing by government agencies is in effect, for oilseeds, sourcing operations are limited and, in the long run, improved public procurement will not be sustainable unless enough private actors are allowed to participate in the supply of oilseeds. For effective involvement of private entities, efforts must be made to persuade states to implement the PDPS and PPSS seriously, thus opening a channel for a smooth supply of oilseeds in a sustainable manner.
Renowned agricultural economist Professor PS Rangi who has worked with the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana and the Punjab State Agricultural Marketing Board, said it may not be possible to offer MSP on all crops, but PSS and PDPS market interventions can help farmers compensate for their losses. . “Government intervention in the market can set a benchmark price, which can be the lowest rate at which various actors buy agricultural products,” said Professor Rangi, who was also a marketing consultant to the Commission of farmers and agricultural workers in the state of Punjab.
Professor Sukhpal Singh of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, said market intervention is needed for crops not covered by the MSP scheme. “State governments must take the initiative to intervene in the market, you can not always admire the Center. State governments, particularly the Punjab, have not done enough in this regard. This is why the demand for MSP has increased, ”said Professor Singh, Chairman of the Agricultural Management Center of IIM Ahmedabad.