Bhubaneswar: Just two day after the Union Government announced a hike of Minimum Support Price (MSP) of paddy by Rs 72 per quintal, the Odisha Government demanded hike of the MSP to Rs 2930 per quintal.
Speaking to reporters here on Friday, State Agriculture Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo said, “The Centre has hiked paddy MSP by Rs 72 to Rs 1,940 per quintal for 2021-22 crop year from Rs 1,868 per quintal last year. The price of Grade-A variety has been hiked to Rs 1960. It will not help Odisha farmers especially the marginal and small farmers.
“Odisha should not be treated like other States as our farmers frequently face natural calamities like cyclone, flood, drought (in some places) and pest attack. Therefore, our State should be treated as a special case,” Sahoo said.
The Central assistance is not adequate for them. So, the MSP of paddy should be increased to Rs 2930 per quintal, he demanded.
The State Legislative Assembly had unanimously adopted resolutions twice, in 2017 and 2018, for enhancing MSP to Rs 2930 per quintal as per Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, he said, adding “The move will help farmers get 25% profit from their product.”
“My department and I have written letters to the Union Agriculture Ministry many times since the past few years for the MSP hike. Today also I have written a letter to the Union Agriculture Minister in this regard,” the Minister said.
The Centre’s aim of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 would not be fulfilled if the MSP is hiked in such a line as was done two days ago, he further said.
Stating that Odisha is the fourth largest rice manufacturing state in the country, Sahoo said, “The Centre should take measures on a serious note and hike the MSP to Rs 2930 per quintal at least for Odisha considering the above aspects.”
On Wednesday, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved an increase in the minimum support price (MSPs) for all mandated Kharif crops for marketing season 2021-22 to ensure remunerative prices to the growers.