Kharif crops are harvested in the monsoon or autumn.
The government has approved a significant increase in the minimum prices that it guarantees to farmers for their summer crops, a move aimed at boosting rural incomes and promoting crop diversity.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday, announced an increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for all mandated Kharif crops for the 2023-24 marketing season. The MSP is a rate set by the government to purchase crops from farmers, acting as a safety net against market price fluctuations.
Paddy, India's most widely grown crop, saw an increase in its MSP from Rs. 2040 per 100 kg (quintal) to Rs. 2183 for the common variety and from Rs. 2060 to Rs. 2203 for the grade A variety, according to a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
Increases were also seen in the MSP of other crops such as pulses, oilseeds, cotton, and millets, ranging from 4% to 12%. The government said these increases are in line with its policy of ensuring farmers a profit margin of at least 50% over their cost of production.
The move is part of a wider government effort to incentivize farmers to diversify their crops and adopt high-yielding technologies. These efforts are supported by initiatives such as the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and the National Food Security Mission (NFSM), which offer higher MSPs for non-cereal crops such as pulses, oilseeds, and Nutri-cereals/Shree Anna.
During a press conference, Union Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal stated that total foodgrain production for the agricultural year 2022-23 is projected at a record 330.5 million tonnes, an increase of 14.9 million tonnes compared to the previous year. This marks the highest increase in the last five years.
India's summer or Kharif crop season begins in June and July, with harvesting occurring from October to November. The government believes that the increased MSPs will encourage farmers to diversify their crops during this season, ultimately contributing to the nation's food security and rural economic stability.