27 DEC,2020 | MEDC
The ongoing farmers’ agitation is revolving around a guarantee of minimum support price (MSP), although the new farm laws are not related to MSP, and the government has repeatedly said that current procurement under MSP will continue. Some farmers fear that a few corporates will monopolise the entire market operations, leading to a weakening of both APMC markets and MSP. These fears are probably exaggerated even though there is some truth in the possibility of the development of monopolistic tendencies. However, MSP is no longer a panacea for Indian farmers. India cannot achieve its target of doubling farmers’ incomes only by procuring paddy and wheat, and that too just in a handful of states. The current MSP policy discriminates against rain-fed farmers who grow pulses, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables, and who constitute over 70% of the 12 crore farm families in India. No injustice should be meted out to any farmer, but the fact is that the silent majority cannot be held forever to ransom because ofa vociferous minority. There are some historical aberrations which need to be corrected, even if it does not appeal to everyone.
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