**Bhubaneswar: ** When there is a lot of hullaballoo and political slugfest between the ruling BJD here in the State and BJP at Centre in Odisha over allegedly unreasonable minimum support price (MSP) for paddy farmers, Union Agriculture Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat informed Parliament that CACP recommends MSP.
Replying to an unstarred question on the “MSP for Agricultural Produce” raised by Odisha’s BJD MP (Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat) Nagendra Kumar Pradhan and his three others co-MPs in the Lower House of the Parliament, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said, “The Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) is an attached office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India. It came into existence in January 1965 and prior to 1985, it was known as the Agricultural Prices Commission. It is mandated to recommend Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for major agricultural produce.”
“While recommending MSPs, CACP takes into account the cost of production, overall demand-supply conditions, domestic and international prices, inter-crop price parity, terms of trade between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors, the likely effect on the rest of the economy, besides ensuring rational utilisation of productive resources like land and water,” the Minister apprised the House.
He added, “Cost of production is one of the important factors taken into account in fixing the MSPs. The cost of production (A2+FL) includes all paid out costs such as those incurred on account of hired human labour, bullock labour/machine labour, rent paid for leased in land, expenses incurred on use of material inputs like seeds, fertilizers, manures, irrigation charges, diesel/electricity for operation of pump sets etc. and imputed value of family labour.”
The House was also informed, “CACP holds consultations with the stakeholders including State Governments and farmers’ organizations/representatives before finalizing its recommendations.”
On the question whether the MSP for paddy is likely to be fixed by the Government at Rs 2500 per quintal this year, the Minister replied, “No, Government has fixed for the year MSP of paddy at Rs1550 per quintal for common variety and Rs 1590 per quintal for Grade ‘A’ variety for 2017-18.”
“The MSP fixed by Government provides adequate returns of 38.8% for common variety and 42.3% for Grade ‘A’ variety over weighted average cost of production including family labour (A2+FL),” the Union Agriculture told the House.