Hike in MSP by Centre a fraud on farmers, doesn’t even cover production cost: Farmers’ organisations

The All India Kisan Sabha led by Hannan Mollah called for a nationwide protest against the ‘misleading information’ provided by Modi govt, and said it had once again discriminated against farmers

Photo courtesy: Social Media
Photo courtesy: Social Media

NH Political Bureau

A day after the Modi government announced a hike in MSP for 14 kharif (summer) crops, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), India’s largest farmers’ organization, has flayed the Central government for ‘defrauding the farmers’.

Calling for a nationwide protest against the ‘misleading information’ provided by the Modi government on hike in MSP vis-a-vis the production cost, the AIKS, led by Hannan Mollah, said that the government has once again discriminated against the farmers.

“The increase in MSP barely covers the general inflation in the economy. Paltry increases in MSP have been made when cost of production has increased sharply for farmers because of high prices of fuel and other inputs, and massive shortages and price rise in supply of fertilizers,” the organization said.

It is worth noting that as per the MSP announced for Kharif 2022-23, MSP for rice, maize, tur, urad and groundnut has been increased by just 7 per cent, and for Bajra by just 8 per cent. The MSP for paddy has been increased by Rs 100 to Rs 2,040 per quintal for 2022-23 crop.

Pointing at rampant black marketing of fertilizers, the AIKS, which was at the forefront in leading farmers’ protest against the three contentious farm laws which were subsequently withdrawn, asserted, “It is also noteworthy that this (MSP hike) has been done in a period when global prices of food commodities have been very high. This means that for commodities like edible oils and pulses, for which India is import dependent, a much higher price is paid through imports to farmers of developed countries who grow oilseeds and pulses than is proposed to be paid to our own farmers.”

“Instead of computing return over total cost (C2), the return is computed over A2+FL cost, which excludes the cost of the farmers' own resources. This is a fraud done with farmers as the MSP does not even fully cover the total cost of production,” reads the statement issued by Hannan Mollah.

Demanding that the government should implement the Swaminathan Commission formula of C2+50 per cent, AIKS said, “Edible oil and pulses should be included in the public distribution system, which will incentivise farmers to grow these water-saving crops, help bring down food inflation and improve food security in the country”.

Reacting to the hike in MSP, farmers’ leader Yogendra Yadav recalled UPA days. Sharing data comprising hiked MSP during the 9 seasons of the Congress-led UPA government with the 9 seasons of the BJP-led NDA government, Yadav emphasized that the UPA government had given almost double hike in the MSP rates than the NDA government.

Meanwhile, BKU (Ugrahan) said that the hiked MSP is not adequate. The Punjab based organization demanded implementation of the recommendation suggested by the Swaminathan Commission and C2+50 per cent formula to decide the MSP.

Sharing a report that highlighted huge profits recorded by corporate companies, agriculture scientist Devinder Sharma tweeted, “This is how companies make huge profits in the name of inflation. Food inflation has nothing to do with higher prices to farmers but is all about exploitative profits that agribusiness companies make”.

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