Agriculture Current Affair 27 July 2022

Centre sets up committee to strengthen MSP system

The government on Monday formed a committee on Minimum Support Price (MSP), eight months after it promised to set up such a panel while withdrawing the three contentious farm laws. Former agriculture secretary Sanjay Agrawal will be the chairman of the committee.

The government has made a provision to include three members from Sanyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) as part of the committee but the farm organisation has so far not given any names to be part of the panel.

Under the umbrella of SKM, thousands of farmers had held around one year-long agitation at Delhi borders and forced the government to withdraw the farm laws.

Kharif sowing of tomato, onion, potato at comfortable levels

The sowing of tomato, potato and onion is at comfortable levels this kharif season with area acreage under cultivation for these crops being at the same levels as last year, a senior official at the agriculture and farmers’ welfare ministry said.

The total area sown with onion in five major producer states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh was at 26,840 hectares as on July 5, against 26,670 hectares in the corresponding period in 2021, data from the ministry shows.

The total area sown with kharif potato in top five states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu was 36,120 hectares as on July 5 against 36,510 hectares a year earlier.

Panel set up to make MSP system more effective, transparent

The government has set up a panel on minimum support price (MSP), with three members of Samyukta Kisan Morcha – which coordinated the farmers’ strike against the now-repealed three farm laws last year – on it. The main task of the committee will be to ideate ways to make the MSP system more effective and transparent, the government said.

It will also give suggestions on giving “more autonomy to Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and measures to make it more scientific”, the gazette said. The panel will look for ways to “strengthen the agricultural marketing system as per the changing requirements of the country to ensure higher value to farmers through remunerative prices of their produce by taking advantage of the domestic and export opportunities”, it said. It will also look into natural farming and crop diversification.

While announcing the repeal of three farm laws in November last year, PM Narendra Modi had promised to set up a committee to make the MSP system more effective and transparent and suggest ways to promote zero budgeting-based agriculture. The panel will be headed by former agriculture secretary Sanjay Agarwal and has representations from Niti Aayog, agricultural economists, other farmer organisations, agricultural scientists, representatives of central and state governments, cooperatives, members of agriculture varsities, and award-winning farmers.

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