Why MSP Increase is a Matter of Life and Death for Farmers? Modi Government Urgently Asked for Assurance Due to These Reasons

The ongoing farmers’ protest in Delhi has drawn attention to the increasing concerns voiced by many regarding the potential repercussions of not implementing the Minimum Support Price (MSP). Farmers and supporters argue that without the assurance of MSP, the cost of living will rise, burdening the government’s budget and potentially destabilizing the economy. They question the justice in jeopardizing farmers’ livelihoods to save the government’s budget. 

In response to these apprehensions, political leader Sagar Rabari has taken to social media platforms to challenge the government and raise critical questions regarding its policies. The discourse surrounding this issue underscores the importance of addressing farmers’ grievances and ensuring a fair and sustainable agricultural system.

Fluctuating Jeera Prices: A Concern for Farmers

Sagar Rabari, through social media, has posed questions to the government. Currently, the entry of a new season sheds light on farmers’ compulsion. Presently, the market price (MSP) of jeera stands at an average of ₹30,000 per quintal, whereas its futures trading stands at ₹25,380. A month later, in March, the futures price drops to ₹24,350, indicating a decrease of ₹1,000. 

Examining the trend, last year, jeera prices had soared up to ₹73,755 per quintal, while the average market price stood at ₹58,750. In November, when farmers were consistently selling jeera in the market at prices ranging from ₹40,000 to ₹45,000 per quintal, they are now compelled to sell at ₹30,000 per quintal. This substantial difference between the current and previous prices raises concerns among farmers about the fluctuations in jeera prices and their impact on their livelihoods.

Rising Production Costs and Challenges for Cumin Farmers

To cultivate one hectare of cumin, 15 kilograms of seeds are required. While the current price of ₹30,000 per quintal may not seem notably low, the dynamics of pricing and calculations have significantly changed the situation for farmers in the market. During the sowing season, the market price of cumin was high, resulting in the cost of cumin seeds soaring from ₹400-500 per kilogram to ₹1,100-1,200 per kilogram. 

For sowing one hectare of cumin, 15 kilograms of seeds are necessary. However, due to the increased market prices, the cost of seeds for one hectare ranges from ₹16,500 to ₹18,000. When including labor and other expenses, the cost of cultivating one hectare of cumin surpasses ₹1,00,000. This substantial rise in production costs poses significant challenges for cumin farmers.

The Importance of MSP: A Critical Need for Cumin Farmers

In Gujarat, the average cumin yield per hectare ranges from 6 to 7 quintals (600 to 700 kilograms). If a farmer gets a price of ₹25,000 per quintal, they would earn ₹1,50,000. Even after deducting production costs ranging from ₹1.00 to ₹1.25 lakhs, what remains in the hands of the farmer? If the price drops to ₹20,000, the farmer’s income reduces to ₹1,20,000, which may barely cover expenses and potentially lead to losses. Thus, farmers demand security through MSP laws to protect against such losses. 

Over the years, cumin cultivation in Gujarat expanded from 2.76 lakh hectares to 5.61 lakh hectares due to high prices observed earlier. However, with the fluctuations in the futures trading and the volatile nature of the stock market, farmers face significant risks. The implementation of MSP regulations becomes imperative for their survival and sustenance in such unpredictable market conditions.

Impact of Environmental Factors and Government Policies on Farmers

The decisions regarding environmental impacts and import-export regulations are not solely in the hands of farmers. While nature and government policies play significant roles, it’s the farmers who demand security through MSPs. The argument arises: if the government can impose a tax of ₹39.60 per liter on petrol priced at ₹57 to compensate for rising costs, why don’t people stop buying petrol? However, when MSPs are provided to farmers, prices increase. If taxes are levied worldwide on petroleum, why hasn’t the purchase of petrol been restricted? 

If the government fixes cotton prices, does it mean private sugar mills should stop buying sugarcane? When GST rates of 18-28% are imposed on farmers’ tools, why are their purchases restricted? The biggest purchaser is the government itself; why can’t it settle its dues promptly? Moreover, if the BJP-led government in Madhya Pradesh once implemented a price difference payment scheme, why can’t the same model be adopted when market prices and MSPs fall?

Government’s Reluctance on MSP Increase Despite Recommendations

Farmers are demanding an increase in MSPs based on the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission, a body established by the government itself. However, despite the expertise of economists, the government seems reluctant to accept this demand. If the government acknowledges farmers’ demands, it will be compelled to invest more in the agricultural sector. Currently, the government is prioritizing development, but if it fails to address these concerns, the nation’s economy may suffer as a consequence.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.