1. Agriculture World

A Green Push to Crop Diversification: MP Farmers to Get All Necessary Support & Assistance

We are changing our strategy so that farmers do not have to sell their harvest at the minimum support price (MSP) and do not even have to travel to mandi. We want farmers to sell commodities directly to businesses at the minimum retail price (MRP)' Kamal Patel, MP Agriculture Minister, stated.

Shivani Meena
Diversification of Crop can lessen the MSP burden
Diversification of Crop can lessen the MSP burden

The Madhya Pradesh government is launching an incentive scheme to prevent farmers from producing wheat, fearing that it would raise the burden on the state budget. Other crop diversification, unlike wheat, would not have a minimum support price (MSP), officials said. 

The MP government purchased its most wheat in 2020, with 356 lakh metric tonnes, and paid farmers a total of Rs 25,311 crore. Wheat output has climbed from 219 lakh M T to 356 lakh M T in the last five years, according to agricultural department data. In addition, the government has paid a total of Rs. 8,468 crore for paddy production in the year 2021. 

The changing strategy of MP Govt 

"We're changing our strategy so that farmers don't have to sell their crops at the minimum support price (MSP) or even go to a mandi. "We want farmers to sell commodities straight to companies at the minimum retail price (MRP)," stated MP agriculture minister Kamal Patel.

He went on to explain that the Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) will be formed and that they would receive a 3% subsidy when applying for financing from NABARD to build up a processing facility, as well as some seed subsidies. He stated that the FPOs will sell produce straight to multinational corporations. 

Paddy is grown by over 40% of farmers in the Kharif crop season, while wheat is grown by over 65 percent of farmers in the Rabi crop season, according to the official. The goal of the scheme is to alleviate the rising cost of wheat and paddy purchase at MSP, he added. "The state government wants farmers to profit from significant agri-based market changes with this crop diversification policy," said another agriculture department official. 

Financial support for Crop Diversification 

According to a draft of the scheme obtained by HT, carbon-sequestering crops other than wheat and paddy would be promoted and will be covered under insurance.

"Similarly, farmers would get all necessary support in cultivating suitable crops based on soil testing results, as well as subsidized seeds and assistance in the establishment of food processing units by a group of farmers," the policy document stated. The government would also assist farmers in selling their goods directly to multinational companies, according to the announcement. 

In MP, varied crops like mustard and groundnuts are produced on 17.63 m ha of the total of 148 lakh hectares of agricultural land. "If a farmer wishes to continue to plant wheat and paddy, the state government would encourage farmers to cultivate other types of the demand-driven crop under the scheme, including Basmati Rice, Sharbati wheat, Chinnor rice, and black wheat," a senior officer said. 

"MP agricultural department is going for a paradigm shift in technique and attitude of agriculture, and this budget will reflect it," said Ajit Kesari, senior secretary for farmers welfare and agriculture. 

Apart from lowering the MSP burden, officials claim that the scheme would also save money for the food and civil supplies department since it will have to purchase less from farmers.

"The MP government has storage facilities for roughly 80 lakh MT, while the rest is housed in private warehouses." If farmers do not diversify, storage will become a major issue in the future," stated a food and civil supplies department officer. 

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