Despite Budget Promise Of 'Bonanza', Farmers Get Less Than Minimum Price

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Union Budget promised farmers a minimum support price of at least 50% over the cost of production


New Delhi:  One of the biggest promises made during this year's Union Budget was to provide the farmers with a longstanding demand: a minimum support price (MSP) of at least 50 per cent over the cost of production.  

The assurance was meant to cover the upcoming rabi, or spring harvest season.

But NDTV has found out that three of four major rabi crops are selling much below the support price.

We looked at prices at which chana (chickpeas), masoor dal (red/black lentils), mustard and wheat are being sold at agricultural markets, or mandis, compared to the support price for each crop.

We averaged out the cost of sale of these crops for the top three markets where each is sold.

Our calculation found that while the MSP for chana is Rs 4,400 per quintal, the average market price stood at Rs 3,755 per quintal, 14 per cent lower than the MSP.

Similarly for masoor dal and mustard, for which the minimum support prices stand at Rs 4,250 per quintal and Rs 4,000 per quintal, the average market prices were Rs 3,546 and Rs 3,530 per quintal respectively, 17% and 12% lower than their MSPs.

"We don't even recover half the production cost with the price at which chana is being sold at the market," said a farmer from Madhya Pradesh.

"I came here with the price expectation of over Rs 4,000 but my chana crop got sold at Rs 3500," said another farmer from the same state.  

However, the average market prices for wheat were 12% higher than the MSP.  

That does not mean that every farmer is benefiting from it. In the top three markets selling wheat, the wholesale prices in Mumbai were much higher than that of Agra and Lalitpur (in Uttar Pradesh), where the price range was much lower than the MSP. However, the higher prices in Mumbai market pushed up the overall price average of the crop. 


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