Farmers reject Centre’s proposal on MSP on five crops

In a setback, farm union leaders on Monday rejected the Centre’s proposal of buying pulses, maize and cotton at minimum support price (MSP) by government agencies for five years. — IANS

Chandigarh, Feb 19 (IANS) In a setback, farm union leaders on Monday rejected the Centre’s proposal of buying pulses, maize and cotton at minimum support price (MSP) by government agencies for five years, saying it was not in farmers’ interest.

The announcement was made by farmer leaders Sarwan Singh Pandher and Jagjit Singh Dallewal at the Punjab-Haryana’s Shambhu border in Patiala district after holding a meeting.

A panel of three Union ministers — Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda and Nityanand Rai — on Sunday gave a proposal to the farmers during the fourth round of talks in Chandigarh.

Soon after the fourth round of talks concluded on Monday night, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said, “We will discuss proposals given by the Centre with fellow farmers, take the opinions of experts.”

The crops which the Centre has proposed to buy on assured MSP include three pulses — arhar, tur and urad, besides cotton and maize.

It is proposed that the central agencies such as the NCCF, NAFED and the Cotton Corporation of India will sign a contract for five years to buy the crops from the farmers.

The farmer leaders have been asked by the three-member Union ministers comprising Arjun Munda, Piyush Goyal and Nityanand Rai to discuss their proposal and give their consent before arriving at the final plan from the Central government.

Interacting with the media after the meeting, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said if the MSP is given for this crop then Punjab can lead the country in production of pulses.

He added it will be a second green revolution in the country though Punjab had suffered due to the Green Revolution by loss of its only natural resources in terms of over exploitation of fertile soil and water.

The Chief Minister also said that farmers of the state can adopt cotton and maize only if they get the MSP of these crops.

He said the assured marketing of these crops can encourage the farmers for crop diversification — a major push to the crop diversification in the country.

He added the country today imports pulses from other countries whereas if farmers get remunerative prices then they can produce these pulses here.

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