Mann Ki Baat

PM Narendra Modi used his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to address farmers and their distress, elaborating on the budget promise to pay a support price that is one and half times the cost incurred. But the formula he laid out does not cover comprehensive cost that a section of farmers has been demanding. Instead, the government will go for the A2+FL formula that covers cost and imputed value of unpaid family labour.

“It has been decided that the MSP of notified crops will be fixed at least one and a half times their cost. The MSP will include labour cost of other workers employed, expenses incurred on own animals and cost of animals and machinery taken on rent, cost of seeds, cost of each type of fertilizer used, irrigation cost, land revenue paid to the state government, interest paid on working capital, ground rent in case of leased land,” Modi said.

“Not only this but also the cost of labour of the farmer himself or any other person of his family who contributes his or her labour in agricultural work will be added to the cost of production, ” he added.

All the cost and imputed value of unpaid family labour, enlisted by Modi, is referred as A2+FL formula. A section of farmers’ has, however, demanded use of comprehensive cost formula, which takes into account rental value of owned land and interest on fixed capital apart from A2+FL. Modi’s remarks on Sunday gave a clear signal that the government won’t go for C2 formula while fixing MSPs of kharif (summer sown) crops which will be marketed from October. “Efforts are on to connect local village ‘mandis’ to wholesale markets and on with the global market. Twenty-two thousand rural ‘haats’ in the country will be upgraded by creating the necessary infrastructure and these will be integrated with APMC and e-NAM platform so that the farmers would not have to go to distant places for selling their produce,” he said.

His remarks came a day after a group of farmer organisations presented a report, highlighting poor ground situation even at present level of MSP.

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