The Slow Manner To Destroy India’s Nutrient Self-Sufficiency: Opened Upward Up Procurement To Person Sector.

Food procurement together with assured prices to farmers through the MSP regime is what has turned Republic of Republic of India nutrient ‘self-sufficient’.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram has called for bringing inward soul players to participate inward foodgrain procurement. “The authorities is the largest together with inward many ways the solely mass buyer of cereal crops. The regain of marketplace position prices is affected past times minimum back upwards price.” By opening to the soul sector, the Finance Minister thinks procurement volition improve every bit it volition reach goodness both the consumers every bit good every bit the farmers.
This has serious implications for non solely country’s nutrient safety just also volition impinge upon nutrient self-sufficiency then assiduously built over the past times 4 decades.

For farmers, such a policy alter volition hateful an terminate of an era where wherein they were getting a minimum assured cost for at to the lowest degree wheat together with paddy. Although the Commission for Costs together with Prices (CACP) announces the minimum back upwards cost for nearly 24 crops every year, it is solely inward illustration of wheat together with rice that farmers larn the reach goodness of minimum back upwards cost since the Food Corporation of Republic of Republic of India (FCI) every bit good every bit about State agencies steps inward to purchase it from the markets. In others words, the minimum back upwards cost for wheat together with rice becomes an assured cost for farmers.

Mr Chidambaram gives an impression every bit if the procurement of wheat together with rice past times the authorities agencies crowds out the soul players, who would choose paid a amend cost to farmers. This is non true. In reality, the procurement scheme nowhere says that it is solely the authorities agencies that choose to purchase foodgrains from the mandis. Private players besides tin come upwards together with brand purchases from the mandis. Only when in that location are no buyers for wheat, for instance, at the procurement cost of Rs 1350 per quintal that it becomes mandatory for the FCI to purchase the produce.

Every procurement season, about of the wheat together with paddy is sure enough purchased past times the soul players at a relatively higher cost than the procurement cost announced past times the government. Bulk of the purchase is yet made past times FCI together with State agencies. The stability inward wheat together with paddy prices is what has sustained farmers inward the Green Revolution belt of Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh all these years.

What Mr Chidambaram is thus rattling cleverly suggesting is to dismantle the existing procurement scheme that volition permit the soul sector to brand purchases at the prevailing marketplace position prices. If the soul sector is then keen, I don’t empathize why does it non purchase wheat together with rice from farmers inward Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh, Odisha together with West Bengal where the mandi network doesn’t exist? In whatever case, soul players, including arhtiyas, dominate mass buying of wheat together with rice inward all these States. Invariably, at all these places farmers choose to resort to a distress sale getting non to a greater extent than than Rs 900 to Rs 1000 per quintal every bit the wheat price. Unless Mr Chidambaram wants Punjab together with Haryana farmers to also travel inward for distress sale, I don’t empathize his logic of cost discovery.

In addition, if the soul players are then cracking to assist the farmers every bit good every bit the consumers why can’t they demonstrate their willingness to reach then inward the remaining 22 crops for which in that location is no reliable procurement system. After all, pulses are an of import purpose of the average Indian diet. Yet, its production is non picking upwards because in that location is no marketing scheme that provides an assured cost to farmers. Farmers reach non choose the might to demeanor the shocks of the volatility of the markets, together with thus opt to cultivate wheat together with paddy offering an assured price. The soul sector tin easily render the reach goodness of what it calls every bit cost realisation offering a higher cost to growers.

Take the illustration of sugarcane. Over the years, it has turned out to survive the most of import cash crop for farmers. This is primarily because of the State Advised cost of cane, which the State authorities decides together with which the saccharide mills choose to pay. Withdraw the State Advised cost together with I am sure many sugarcane farmers volition survive forced to commit suicide. And what most crops similar spud together with tomato? Don’t nosotros come across farmers throwing spud together with love apple tree onto the streets at the fourth dimension of a glut when prices fall? Why the soul players can’t rescues farmers amongst a higher cost at times of glut?

The indicate I am trying to brand is left to soul players farmers would survive exploited to the hilt. This is precisely the argue why the authorities had constituted the Agricultural Prices Commission presently afterwards Green Revolution was ushered inward 1966. At the same fourth dimension it develop the Food Corporation of India. Both these were fantabulous initiatives together with what needs to survive understood is that if the province has stopped nutrient imports together with turned nutrient self-sufficient it is primarily for the purpose played past times these 2 arrangement inward providing an assured cost together with an assured marketplace position to farmers. Any endeavour to tinker amongst the procurement scheme thus is wrought amongst grave implications for the farming population every bit good every bit the country’s nutrient security.