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Centre’s Proposal for Farmers Amidst Protest: 5-Year MSP Plan for Pulses, Maize, and Cotton

A panel of Union ministers has proposed a five-year plan to purchase pulses, maize, and cotton at Minimum Support Prices (MSP) from farmers. The proposal emerged after discussions with farmer leaders amidst ongoing protests at the Punjab-Haryana border.

Government’s Proposal

  • Long-term MSP Agreement: Government agencies will buy pulses, maize, and cotton crops at MSP for five years through agreements with farmers.
  • Involvement of Cooperative Societies: Entities like NCCF and NAFED will enter contracts with farmers growing specific crops to ensure MSP procurement.
  • Unlimited Purchase Quantity: No restrictions on the quantity purchased, enhancing farmer security and market stability.
  • Development of a Procurement Portal: A dedicated portal will be established to facilitate transparent transactions.

Farmer Leaders’ Response

  • Evaluation Process: Farmer forums will discuss the proposal on February 19-20, seeking expert opinions before making a decision.
  • Resumption of Protest: If unresolved, the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march will resume on February 21, emphasizing unresolved demands.

Government’s Farm Sector Track Record

  • Procurement Figures: Between 2014 and 2024, the government procured crops worth Rs 18 lakh crore at MSP, highlighting significant support for farmers.
  • Policy Continuation: Assurances of continued discussions beyond immediate resolutions, acknowledging the complexity of demands.

Punjab Chief Minister’s Advocacy

  • Legal Guarantees for MSP: Advocating for legal assurances of MSP to protect farmers’ interests.
  • Crop Diversification: Emphasizing the role of MSP in encouraging crop diversification, particularly towards pulses, cotton, and maize.
  • Peace and Order: Stressing the importance of maintaining peace and law during protests while advocating for farmers’ demands.

Ongoing Farmer Demands

  • Swaminathan Commission Recommendations: Demand for implementation to address agricultural sector concerns comprehensively.
  • Pension, Debt Waiver: Calls for pension schemes, farm debt waivers, and other financial support measures for farmers.
  • Electricity Tariff Freeze: Opposition to electricity tariff hikes impacting agricultural operations.
  • Justice for Victims: Seeking justice for victims of past violence and adequate compensation for affected families.

Reinstatement of Legislation

Demands for the reinstatement of specific agricultural laws and compensation for past agitations’ casualties.

Centre's Proposal for Farmers Amidst Protest: 5-Year MSP Plan for Pulses, Maize, and Cotton_4.1

Centre's Proposal for Farmers Amidst Protest: 5-Year MSP Plan for Pulses, Maize, and Cotton_5.1