Only few ryots register to sell crops at MSP in Karnataka | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The main demand of ryots protesting the farm bills is that the government should ensure continuation of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) scheme. But in reality, the response for the same scheme has been lukewarm in Karnataka.
The government has opened the registration process for MSP scheme as the first step towards procuring kharif crops. Farmers are required to register themselves online on or before December 31 to sell their produce. But registrations so far have been abysmally low for all produce except paddy, which has seen moderate response.
For instance, only 10 farmers have enrolled to sell jowar at an MSP of Rs 2,640 per quintal. This compared to 2,727 farmers, who had registered before December 31 last year. The subdued response is despite the Centre hiking MSP for jowar by Rs 70. The government has promised 1 lakh tonnes of jowar, the same as last year’s target. While it could procure only 9,256 tonnes in 2019, it is expected to be much lower this time.
For ragi, whose production is expected to touch 11 lakh tonnes, only 900 farmers have enrolled so far. Last year, 93,026 of them had signed up. The government has set a target of procuring 4 lakh tonnes of ragi at an MSP of Rs 3,295 per quintal, but it is unlikely to meet the same given the low registration. Last year, it had procured 1.9 lakh tonnes against the target of 3 lakh tonnes. The government wants to procure 20 quintals of tur dal from each farmer at the rate of Rs 6,100 per quintal as it set a target of 3 lakh quintals for total procurement. However, only 6,095 farmers have registered so far.
Paddy, on the other hand, has seen a decent registration with 20,782 farmers stepping up. Last year, 27,124 farmers had registered and the government had procured 65,000 tonnes as against the target of 3 lakh tonnes. This year, it has set an ambitious target of 10 lakh tonnes at the rate of Rs 1,868 per quintal.
“Registration so far hasn’t been as expected. But we are determined to procure and if needed, we will also extend the registration deadline with the Centre’s permission,” said food and civil supplies minister K Gopalaiah.
Experts underline multiple reasons for the cold response. For instance, harvest of tur dal starts only in January-end and farmers are waiting to know the quantity of the produce. On the other hand, green gram producers harvested their crop in October and sold the same in the open market. While the government procures only a fraction what a farmer grows, he still has to depend on the open market to sell the larger portion of his produce. Also, if he sells the crop to the government, he has to wait for about six months to get the money, while he gets the same immediately if he auctions it in the open market.

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Sagar Biswas

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