Agricultural price commission for increasing foodgrain procurement

The Karnataka Agricultural Price Commission has said that whether crops are procured within the APMC or outside, the MSP fixed by the Centre must be considered as the ‘reference price’.   | Photo Credit: File photo

The Karnataka Agricultural Price Commission (KAPC) has recommended to the State Government to seek permission from the Centre for increasing the procurement of quantity of foodgrains under the MSP for distribution at subsidised prices under the public distribution system (PDS).

The State needs about 20 lakh tonnes of rice for distribution under PDS for its beneficiaries at the rate of 3 kg per beneficiary. Currently, the Centre has fixed the cap for procurement at five lakh tonnes only, the KAPC said in a report.

KAPC chairman Hanumanagouda Belagurki submitted the report for the year 2021-22 on the ground reality of crop produce, pricing and marketing in the State to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday.

The State Government should seek permission to procure 5.29 lakh tonnes of ragi and 5 lakh tonnes of jowar (2 kg per beneficiary). With this, the Government can ensure MSP to farmers and availability of locally grown produce to the people of the State, the report suggested. It further said, whether crops are procured within the APMC or outside, the Central Government-fixed MSP must be considered as the “reference price”.

The State has made provisions for procurement of produce by private players outside the APMC yards. The Government must formulate parameters and fix prices for the produce being sold by farmers outside APMC yards, the report said. It strongly recommended upward revision of the compensation for farmers for crop loss during floods/droughts. Currently, the compensation is fixed at ₹6,800 per hectare and ₹13,500 per hectare in rainfed and irrigated land, respectively. This should be categorised as agriculture/commercial crops and perennial crops and the compensation should be increased to ₹50,000 and ₹1 lakh, it recommended.

Financial sufferings

Noting financial sufferings of farmers owing to floods/droughts/COVID-19 pandemic, the KAPC has suggested to the Government to develop an app that can predict market prices for produce.

Its other major recommendation included provision to subsidise agricultural equipment at 90%, 75%, and 50%, respectively, for small and marginal farmers, medium farmers, and big farmers. The GST levied on agricultural equipment must also be reduced, the report said.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 12:04:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/agricultural-price-commission-for-increasing-foodgrain-procurement/article37655182.ece

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