Govt hikes MSP of Rabi crops by 2-9%, lentils and mustard get better hike

NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday approved a hike in minimum support price (MSP) of Rabi (winter sown) crops for the 2023-24 marketing season, increasing it for wheat by Rs 110 per quintal which is 5.4% higher than the current year support price.
The focus of the hike is, however, on lentils (masur) and mustard which recorded an increase of Rs 500 per quintal (9% higher) and Rs 400 per quintal (nearly 8% higher) over the MSP of the current 2022-23 marketing season, respectively. The move is aimed at encouraging farmers to go for higher acreage of pulses and oilseeds during the ongoing sowing season, and reduce the country’s import dependency.

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MSP, announced ahead of Kharif and Rabi sowing season, is the rate at which the government buys the farm produce from farmers. Currently, the government fixes MSPs for 23 crops grown in both the Kharif (summer sowing) and Rabi seasons.Announcing the hike in the range of 2-9% for six Rabi crops, the government said the increase in MSP for Rabi crops is in line with the Union Budget 2018-19 announcement of fixing the support price at a level of at least 1.5 times of the all-India weighted average cost of production.
Accordingly, the maximum rate of return would be 104% for rapeseed & mustard, followed by 100% for wheat, 85% for lentil, 66% for gram, 60% for barley, and 50% for safflower during the Rabi marketing season (RMS) beginning April 1 next year.
In case of the most popular Rabi crop, wheat, which occupies the highest acreage among all six winter sown crops, the MSP has been increased from Rs 2,015 per quintal in 2022-23 RMS to Rs 2,125 per quintal for 2023-24 RMS — hike of Rs 110 per quintal (5.4%). Since the cost of production of wheat is estimated at Rs 1,065 per quintal, the return would be 100%.
The 5.4% hike of MSP for wheat over 2022-23 is, however, higher than its previous hike when it reported merely 2% increase (from Rs 1,975 per quintal in 2021-22 to Rs 2,015 per quintal in 2022-23). Mustard and lentils, on the other hand, got bigger MSP hike even in 2022-23 over 2021-22 with a hike of 8.6% and 7.8%, respectively.
“From the year 2014-15, there has been a renewed focus on increasing the production of oilseeds and pulses. The efforts have yielded good results. Oilseeds production has increased from 27.51 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 37.70 million tonnes in 2021-22 (fourth advance estimates). Pulses production has shown a similar increasing trend,” said the government.
It said, “The government’s priority is on increasing production of oilseeds and pulses and thus fulfilling the objective of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India).”


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