This year, monsoon had a staggered start. Last year, too, the monsoon was anything but normal, and not surprisingly, farmers did not gain from an erratic monsoon. This is evident from the fact that 34 major farmer protests have been recorded across 15 states since 2017. Farmers took to streets, demanding a fair price for their produce and a guarantee of assured income.
In the coming week, the Centre will announce minimum support prices (MSPs) of 23 crops for the kharif season. The MSP will be 1.5 times of farmers' investment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his nation-wide interaction with the farmers recently. In the last budget, Centre pledged to boost farmers’ returns by increasing government’s purchase prices for crops by more than 50 per cent of the output cost.
Even as farmers question the methodology behind the calculation of MSPs, which, according to them, does not cover the entire input cost, they are already bearing the burden of increased input cost. Here is a low-down on how increasing input prices will diminish the gains of MSP in the kharif season.
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