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"The Voice of Voiceless"

OPINION | Politics under the guise of farmers

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“If we take out the entire production of 23 crops and buy the entire MSP, then it is 15 lakh crores. The way farmers Has laid siege, if the private sector also says that we will not buy, what will the government do? What will the business class do?…..” ( Agricultural economist Vijay Sardana)

By Dr. Shanker Suwan Singh
27 Dec 2020

India has a mixed economy. Government and private sector participate in this system. Agriculture sector has a significant contribution in mixed economy. Farmer is the axis of India’s economy. Without farmer the word agriculture has no importance. Farmer and Agriculture is complementary to each other. Increasing yields in agriculture will give farmers a fair price for their crops and strengthen the rural economy. Recently, farmers have been insisting on the Government of India to make a law on MSP (Minimum Support Price). Due to which the farmer is agitated.

The government is not ready to enact a law on MSP (Minimum Support Price).

The government is definitely assuring the farmers that the MSP will not end and the government will continue to buy the crop of farmers on the MSP. The government sets a minimum price for the crop of the farmer, which is called MSP. In the MSP, there is a guarantee from the government that in every situation the farmer will get fixed prices for his crop. If the farmer does not get the minimum support price or more money in the mandis, then the government buys his crop from the farmers on the MSP. Due to this, fluctuations in the prices of crops in the market do not affect the farmers. In the early decades after independence, farmers did not get good prices for their crops due to excessive production. As a result, farmers started agitating to get a reasonable price for their crops. On 1 August 1964, the Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri formed a committee under the leadership of L.K. Jha whose job was to fix the prices of grains. After implementation of the recommendations of the committee, the MSP for wheat was announced for the first time in 1966-67. Every year since then, the government declares MSP of crops before sowing. The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices is the task of fixing the MSP in the country.

This organization, which works under the Ministry of Agriculture, was initially known as Agricultural Price. Later costs were also added to it, which changed its name to the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices. It determines the minimum support price for individual crops. At the same time, the responsibility of deciding the MSP of sugarcane is with the sugarcane commission. After fixing the MSP, the government procures grain through local government agencies and stores it with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and NAFED (National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation of India Limited). Then it is from these stores that food grains are delivered to the poor through the Public Distribution System (PDS). Initially the MSP was fixed only for wheat. This led the farmers to grow only wheat crops, leaving the remaining crops, which reduced the production of grains. Then the government started giving MSP on paddy, oilseeds and pulses crops. Presently MSP is given on more than 20 crops including paddy, wheat, maize, oats, barley, millet, gram, arhar, moong, urad, lentil, mustard, soybean, sunflower, sugarcane, cotton, jute. MSP before sowing crops While Procurement is declared after harvesting. In fact, from 1968-69, MSP and procurement came to be considered the same. No separate arrangement was made for procurement. The MSP itself was considered procurement.

Today, after the introduction of the Kisan Bill, there is a noise that injustice is being done to farmers, but since 1969, MSP and Procurement have been merged. Because of which no one has thought about the cost of growing the crop before sowing and after harvesting. Neither the old government nor the current government. Every political party is basing the Kisan Bill to shine its politics. It is the issue of the farmers and the real farmer of the country is in favor of the government. Not everyone who walks on the road is a farmer. Anti-national elements in the guise of farmers They are leaving no stone unturned to shake their hands. MSP and procurement is an old issue, so farmers should also show mutual consent. The real farmer of the country is in his fields barns and not on the roads.

The farmer who is on the road should also think about the national interest and not in opposition to the nation. If the government agrees to the farmers, then the economy of the nation will be greatly burdened. Government of India also has to look at the economy of the nation. Here, agitated farmers and opposition parties are only looking after themselves. Government distributes ration in the PDS (Public Distribution System only) from the grain purchased from farmers on MSP. Any grains in the market If there is a shortage, the government releases food grains from its reserves. Most of the government’s grain kept in the reserves is getting spoiled. Despite this, the government buys food grains from farmers every year which is not good for the economy. Agricultural economist Professor Ashok Gulati says, “Today there is so much grain in the country that it is allowed to keep in the country The farmer says to take from me, no matter where to throw. Today the country needs pulses and oilseeds. They are heavily imported.

Why don’t MSP do procurement for them? Do we have to move beyond just wheat and rice?

Even though the government fixes 20 for more than 20 crops, generally procurement at the government level is done only for wheat and paddy. In such a situation, not all farmers get the benefit of MSP. This is because the government gives wheat and paddy to the poor under the PDS system, so it needs it.
The rest of the crops are not needed on such a large scale, so they cannot be procured. Why is the farmers of Punjab and Haryana the main emphasis on the farmers bill? Because the farmers of Punjab and Haryana are getting the most benefit of MSP.

More than 95% of the food grains of Punjab farmers are sold on MSP, but only 6% of the farmers of the rest of the country are able to sell their grain on MSP. The problem for the government is that if it has cleared all the crops. But if you start buying, the government’s coffers will be very burdened. Agricultural economist Vijay Sardana says, “If we take out the entire production of 23 crops and buy the entire MSP, then it is 15 lakh crores.

The way farmers Has laid siege, if the private sector also says that we will not buy, what will the government do? What will the business class do? They will say that we will not buy from the market, if we buy from the government then the government will have to spend 15 lakh crores. The farmer will stand up and say that I will leave everything and grow what the government will buy. If this happens, there will be a budget of 30 lakh crores of agricultural purchases and if your total revenue is 16 lakh crores, is there a need to lock the country? ‘ If it is the backbone, its movement is weakening the economy. Therefore, we can say that the movement of farmers on the minimum support price is a sign of immaturity.

Author
Dr. Shanker Suwan Singh
Assistant Professor and Proctor
(Food Science and Technology Department)
SHUATS, Naini, Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh)


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