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Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for the Khari season 2022-23:

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Minimum support prices.

 

Context:

The Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for the Khari season 2022-23 were recently approved by the cabinet. The rates for 14 Kharif crops have been increased, the hikes ranging from 4% to 8%.

 

Current Affairs

 

What is MSP?

MSP is the rate at which the government buys grains from farmers. Currently, it fixes MSPs for 23 crops grown in both Kharif and Rabi seasons (Including FRP for sugarcane).

  • The mandated crops include 14 crops of the kharif season, 6 rabi crops and 2 other commercial crops.

 

How is it calculated?

The MSP is the rate at which the government purchases crops from farmers, and is based on a calculation of at least one-and-a-half times the cost of production incurred by the farmers.

  • The Union Budget for 2018-19 had announced that MSP would be kept at levels of 1.5 the cost of production.
  • The MSP is fixed twice a year on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), which is a statutory body and submits separate reports recommending prices for kharif and rabi seasons.

 

Which production costs are taken in fixing the MSPs?

The CACP considers both ‘A2+FL’ and ‘C2’ costs while recommending MSP.

  1. A2 costs cover all paid-out expenses, both in cash and kind, incurred by farmers on seeds, fertilisers, chemicals, hired labour, fuel and irrigation, among others.
  2. A2+FL covers actual paid-out costs plus an imputed value of unpaid family labour.
  3. The C2 costs account for the rentals and interest forgone on owned land and fixed capital assets respectively, on top of A2+FL.

Please note:

  • CACP reckons only A2+FL cost for return.
  • However, C2 costs are used by CACP primarily as benchmark reference costs (opportunity costs) to see if the MSPs recommended by them at least cover these costs in some of the major producing States.

 

The limitations of MSP:

  1. The major problem with the MSP is lack of government machinery for procurement for all crops except wheat and rice, which the Food Corporation of India actively procures under the PDS.
  2. As state governments procure the last mile grain, the farmers of states where the grain is procured completely by the government benefit more while those in states that procure less are often affected.
  3. The MSP-based procurement system is also dependent on middlemen, commission agents and APMC officials, which smaller farmers find difficult to get access to.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Composition of CCEA.
  2. What is CACP?
  3. How many crops are covered under the MSP scheme?

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for having a statutory backing for MSP.

 

Q. 3) Consider the following statements: (2020):

  1. In the case of all cereals, pulses and oil-seeds, the procurement at Minimum Support Price (MSP) is unlimited in any State/UT of India.
  2. In the case of cereals and pulses, the MSP is fixed in any State/UT at a level to which the market price will never rise.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only.
  2. 2 only.
  3. Both 1 and 2.
  4. Neither 1 nor 2.

Sources: the Hindu.