Farmers’ Protest: Controversy Surrounding MSP Demand

Attention India
2 Min Read

Farmers’ protests continue for the fourth day, causing chaos at Delhi’s borders, with agitation ongoing in Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. The demand for a minimum support price (MSP) law is central to their grievances.

Demands of the Protestors

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha demand a law guaranteeing MSP for all crops, based on the Swaminathan Commission report’s recommendations.

Expert Analysis: Potential Pitfalls of MSP for All Crops

Views of Agricultural Economist

Dr. Ashok Gulati, a distinguished professor at ICRIER, suggests that mandating MSP for all crops could have adverse effects on farmers. He argues that prices determined by demand and supply dynamics are essential for market stability.

Challenges of Implementation

Implementing MSP for 23 commodities nationwide poses logistical challenges, as these commodities represent only a fraction of India’s agricultural output. Dr Gulati highlights the substantial growth in sectors like poultry, fisheries, and milk, which operate without MSP.

Risk Mitigation Measures

Farmers can opt for crop insurance to mitigate natural risks, albeit at a subsidized premium. Dr. Gulati suggests the utilization of price stabilization funds by the government to address crashing commodity prices.

Regional Concerns and Policy Failures

Punjab’s Diversification Delay

Dr Gulati emphasizes Punjab’s lag in agricultural diversification, warning of dire consequences for future generations due to depleting water tables. He critiques the leadership’s failure to address this pressing issue.

Incomplete MSP Implementation

Despite MSP for wheat and rice, several states struggle to fully implement it, leading to disparities in price realization for farmers. Dr Gulati cites Bihar as an example, where crops are sold well below MSP.

Conclusion: Balancing Policy and Market Dynamics

The MSP demand by farm unions highlights complex issues within India’s agricultural landscape. While addressing farmers’ concerns is crucial, experts like Dr. Gulati underscore the need for nuanced policy solutions that balance market forces, regional realities, and risk mitigation strategies to ensure the welfare of farmers without inadvertently harming their interests.

-Prisha Jaiswal

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply