Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said the Central government should allay the protesting farmers' fears over minimum support price (MSP), citing his own state's experience of increased procurement since abolishing government markets or mandis in 2006.
"The Centre has proposed to hold talks with the agitating farmers. Once they sit across the table, it will become clear that fears over MSP are unfounded," the Chief Minister told reporters here.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration of a 12.27 km-long elevated road that connects AIIMS, Patna1, to the city's Digha locality along the banks of River Ganga, which is expected to facilitate travel between the city's southern and northern extremes, PTI reported.
Chief Minister Kumar said Bihar had abolished Agriculture Produces Market Committee (APMC) mandis way back in 2006 and introduced a system for procurement through primary agriculture credit societies.
"Procurement in Bihar, in fact, picked up only after that…I hope the Centre would explain to the farmers that procurement is not going to be hit and that the system of MSPs won't get scrapped," said Mr Kumar, who was Union Agriculture Minister under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
Over the past five days, thousands of farmers have been protesting across the country, especially in Punjab, against the new farm laws. They say they are ready to do what it takes to see the end of the three farm laws passed by parliament earlier this year.