Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar informed that over two crore farmers have benefitted in the year 2020-21 from the procurement at minimum support price (MSP) as compared to last year. In the last year 2019-20, the number of farmers benefitting from the central and state agencies’ procurement at the minimum support price (MSP) was 2,04,63,590 while this year (2020-21) the number is 2,10,07,563. This year around 6 lakh more farmers were benefitted through the MSP. He gave the information in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
Besides, the overall market also responded to the declaration of MSP and the government’s procurement operations which resulted in private procurement on or above the MSP for various notified crops. Therefore, the accurate number of farmers benefiting from the declaration of MSP is difficult to assess, he said.
The Minister informed that the Centre announces minimum support prices (MSP) for 22 major agricultural commodities of fair average quality (FAQ) each year in both the crop seasons after taking into account the recommendations of the commission for agricultural costs and Prices (CACP). The government also extends remunerative prices to farmers through its various interventions schemes. For making effective procurement by government agencies at MSP and providing maximum benefits of MSP to the farmers, procurement centres are opened by respective state government agencies and central nodal agencies like NAFED, FCI etc. after taking into account the production, marketable surplus, convenience of farmers and availability of other logistics/infrastructure such as storage and transportation etc. large number of the purchase centres in addition to the existing mandis and depots/godowns are also established at key points for the convenience of farmers to ensure procurement at MSP.
He emphasised that moreover if the farmers get favourable terms to sell their produce or a better price than the MSP, they are free to sell their produce anywhere other than the govt agencies