New Delhi: Government today sharply hiked the minimum support price (MSP) of pulses by up to Rs 425 per quintal for this year to boost output and check price rise, while making a modest raise of Rs 60 in paddy MSP to Rs 1,470 per quintal.
The government also approved a bonus of Rs 425 for pulses and Rs 100-200 per quintal for oilseeds growers over and above the MSP to encourage domestic production and check prices.
The decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
The MSP is the rate at which the government buys the grain from farmers. Paddy is the main crop grown in the kharif (summer) season. Sowing of kharif crops would begin with the onset of the South-West monsoon this month.
"We have increased the MSP of all kharif crops for 2016-17. Over and above the MSP, we have also decided to give a bonus of Rs 425 per quintal for pulses and Rs 100-200 per quintal for oilseeds," Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh told reporters after the CCEA meeting.
After including the bonus component, tur MSP has been raised to Rs 5,050 per quintal for this year from Rs 4,625 per quintal last year. Last year too, the government had given a bonus of Rs 200 per quintal to growers.
Moong support price has been increased to Rs 5,225 per quintal for the 2016-17 kharif season from Rs 4,850 per quintal in the year-ago period, while that of urad has been raised to Rs 5,000 per quintal from Rs 4,625 in the said period.
"This (increase in pulses and oilseeds MSP) is expected to give a strong price signal to farmers to bring more acreage under pulses and oilseed crops," Singh said. Besides pulses, the CCEA has also approved the MSP of paddy by Rs 60 per quintal for common variety to Rs 1,470 per quintal and Grade A variety to Rs 1,510 per quintal for this year.
Among oilseeds, groundnut support price has been increased by 190 per quintal to Rs 4,220, soyabean and
nigerseed by Rs 175 per quintal each to Rs 2,775 and Rs 3,825, respectively for the 2016-17 kharif season.
The MSP of sunflower seed has been hiked by Rs 150 per quintal to Rs 3,950 and sesamum support price has been increased by Rs 300 to Rs 5,000 per quintal for this year.
The support price of sesamum includes Rs 200 per quintal bonus and other oilseeds MSP include Rs 100 per quintal bonus.
Among cash crops, the government has approved an increase in the MSP of cotton by Rs 60 per quintal to Rs 3,860 per quintal for medium staple and Rs 4,160 per quintal, respectively, for this year.
The CCEA has approved increase in the support price over and above the recommendation of the government's advisory body Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
Among other crops, CCEA has raised the MSP of ragi by Rs 75 per quintal to Rs 1,725 per quintal; jowar - Rs 60 per quintal to Rs 1,650; bajra - Rs 55 per quintal to Rs 1,330 and maize by Rs 40 per quintal to Rs 1,365 for 2016-17.
With retail prices of pulses ruling over Rs 175 per kg in most parts of the country because of short supply, an increase in MSP of lentils may encourage farmers to sow pulses.