Give legal backing to MSP: panel

Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices says farmers must be able to sell at MSP

The government panel, which recommended minimum support prices for kharif crops that were approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday, has also recommended that the Centre bring out a legislation which would give that announcement some legal teeth by giving farmers the right to sell their produce at those prices.

The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices is a statutory panel under the Ministry of Agriculture which makes the recommendations for MSPs for 23 kharif and rabi crops. Its suggestions are not binding on the government.

In its report titled ‘Price Policy for Kharif Crops for the Marketing Season 2018-19,’ the CACP notes that the procurement mechanism is broken for most crops and for most farmers.

“It has been observed that often farmers of remote areas do not have sufficient access to APMCs [Agricultural Produce Market Committees] and their potential market is local haats where their produce is sold below MSP,” says the report. “Strong procurement operations need to be expanded to neglected regions, particularly eastern and north eastern regions.”

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