The Centre on Wednesday hiked the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy marginally by Rs 65/quintal to Rs 1,815 for the 2019-20 crop year, while rates for oilseeds, pulses and other cereals were raised substantially.
The decision, taken by the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will help farmers take a call on which Kharif (summer) crop to grow at a time when there has been 33 per cent deficiency in southwest monsoon rains in June, although the Met Department has projected good rains for July and August.
Paddy is the main Kharif crop, the sowing of which begins with the onset of southwest monsoons. Due to delayed rains, the total area sown to Kharif crops was down at 146.61 lakh hectares till last week as against last year’s 162.07 lakh hectare, as per government data.
“Monsoon is a bit late. It is a matter of concern to all and the government is serious about it. The Centre is in constant touch with state governments to deal with deficit rains. But the current estimates of IMD show rainfall will be normal,” Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said after announcing the MSP of Kharif crops for this year.
Tomar said the Centre has increased the MSP of Kharif crops for 2019-20 in line with the principle of fixing MSPs at a level which is at least 1.5 times the cost of production, which was announced last year.
The government has raised paddy MSP for both common and A grade varieties by Rs 65/quintal (3.7 per cent) for the 2019-20 crop year (July-June) from over last year, he said. Paddy MSP was increased by Rs 200/quintal for the 2018-19 crop year.
Accordingly, the MSP for paddy (common grade) has been fixed at 1,815/quintal, while that for a paddy of A-grade variety has been hiked to Rs 1,835 for this year.
The paddy MSP fixed is 50 per cent higher than the cost of production at Rs 1,205/quintal, the minister added.