GUWAHATI: Amidst the ongoing agitation by farmers in Delhi seeking withdrawal of the farm law and pressing for minimum support price (MSP), Assam chief minister (CM) Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday reiterated that his government is committed to Rs. 1868 MSP of paddy for every quintal to the farmers of the state.
The MSP is a minimum price guarantee that acts as a safety net or insurance for farmers when they sell particular crops. The crops are procured by government agencies at a promised price to farmers and the MSP cannot be altered in any given situation.
Wheat and rice are among the top crops that are procured by the government at MSP from the country’s farmers. A total of 22-23 crops are procured under MSP.
Chairing a meeting to discuss the modalities to strengthen the supply chain of paddy procurement of the state, CM Sonowal asked food, civil supplies, consumer affairs department and agriculture department to review the existing system, remove the bottlenecks and give a shape to the simpler procedure for the farmers to sell their produce to the government agencies.
He observed that the method for selling the produce by the farmers and procuring the paddy and other essentials by the government should be simpler which devoid of any procedural difficulties.
“Economy of the state is predominantly dependent on agriculture. The growth of the state is also dependent on the socio-economic development of the farmers. Therefore, state government always remained committed to the socio-economic development of the farming community of the state”, Sonowal advocated.
He at the same time requested the farmers to sell the produce to the government authorised agencies including the Food Corporation of India (FCI) for the government to ensure MSP to the farmers.
Recognizing the role of the FCI in paddy procurement in the state, Sonowal asked executive director FCI Manoj Kumar Gogoi to increase paddy procurement centres beyond the existing 39 centres in the state.
Sonowal observed that since the farmers grow their produce in rural areas, there must be procurement centres at the village level.
“The chief minister asked the FCI to set up procurement centres in each development block of the state which would also act as sell points for the farmers. He also asked the FCI authority to set up procurement and sell points of the FCI in the Barak Valley region on a priority basis,” said CM’s office in a statement.
Stating that the growth of agriculture is dependent on production, procurement and marketing, Sonowal also harped on the development of rural infrastructure to facilitate procurement and marketing of the produce of the farmers.
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