New Delhi: When the Punjab farmers are continuing with the offensive and unrest against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Union Agriculture Ministry has tried to call agitating farmer’s bluff by underscoring the Government continues to procure Kharif crops at its MSP from farmers as per its existing MSP Schemes during the ongoing Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2020-21.
On Sunday, responding to Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement that the Government was ready for talks with the agitating farmers provided they leave the highway and continue their protest at the designated ground, the protesting farmer organisations said they won’t accept conditional talks and have decided to continue blockade of the highway connecting Delhi with Punjab.
The Government has issued a long statement to vindicate its position. According to the Union Government, paddy procurement for Kharif 2020-21 is continuing smoothly in the procuring States & UTs of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala,Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra with purchase of over 315.87LMTs of paddy up to 28.11.2020 against the last year corresponding purchase of 266.19LMT showing an increase of 18.66 % over last year. Out of the total purchase of 315.87 LMT, Punjab alone has contributed 202.72 LMT which is 64.18 % of total procurement.
About 29.37 Lac farmers have already been benefitted from the ongoing KMS procurement Operations with MSP value of Rs. 59636.82Crore.
Further, based on the proposal from the States, approval was accorded for procurement of 45.24 LMT of Pulse and Oilseeds of Kharif Marketing Season 2020 for the States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh under Price Support Scheme (PSS). Further, sanction for procurement of 1.23 LMT of Copra (the perennial crop) for the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala was also given. For other States/UTs, approval will also be accorded on receipt of proposals for procurement of Pulses, Oilseeds and Copra under PSS so that procurement of FAQ grade of these crops can be made at notified MSP for the year 2020-21 directly from the registered farmers, if the market rate goes below MSP during the notified harvesting period in the respective States/UTs by the Central Nodal Agencies through State nominated procuring agencies.
Upto 28.11.2020, the Government through its Nodal Agencies has procured 100120.96 MT of Moong, Urad, Groundnut Pods and Soyabean having MSP value of Rs.538.96 Crores benefitting 57772 farmers in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan.
Similarly, 5089 MT of copra (the perennial crop) having MSP value of Rs.52.40 crore has been procured benefitting 3961 farmers in Karnataka and Tamil Naduupto 28.11.2020 as against the last year corresponding purchase of 293.34 MT of copra. In respect of Copra and Urad, rates are ruling above MSP in most of the major producing States. The respective State/UTs Governments are making necessary arrangements for commencement of procurement from the date as decided by the respective States based on the arrivals in respect of Kharif Pulses and Oilseeds.
Procurement operations of seed cotton (Kapas) under MSP are going on smoothly in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan Madhya Pradesh,Maharashtra, Gujarat,Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka. Till 28.11.2020 a quantity of 2816255 cotton bales valuing Rs.8286.91 Crore has been procured benefitting 565591 farmers.