MSP Guarantee Week: Despite all the claims of the government, farmers are still forced to sell their crops below MSP. The committee on MSP was not formed even after four months of trust of the government. In protest against all this, farmers will celebrate MSP Guarantee Week from tomorrow. Farmer organizations across the country will celebrate MSP Guarantee Week from April 11 to April 17 under the banner of “United Kisan Morcha”. Under this program, awareness campaigns will be conducted at various places through dharnas, demonstrations and seminars demanding to make MSP a legal right of the farmer. The program was announced at a meeting of the United Kisan Morcha in Delhi on March 14.
It is worth noting that even before the front started in Delhi in November 2020, the United Kisan Morcha had demanded a legal guarantee of MSP. The meaning of this demand is that:
• MSP should be fixed not only for 23 crops but also for all agricultural products like fruits, vegetables, wild products and milk, eggs.
• While determining the MSP, the minimum cost should be kept at 1.5 times of full cost (C2) instead of partial cost (A2 + FL).
• Not only should the MSP be announced, but it should also be ensured that every farmer gets equal to the MSP for his entire produce.
It should not depend on the government’s trust and schemes, but in the form of legal guarantees like MNREGA and minimum wages, so that if the farmer does not get the MSP, he should go to the court and collect the compensation.
This demand was reiterated in every discussion of the 11 rounds of talks with the government. This demand is in line with the report of the Commission of Farmers of India (Swaminathan Commission), submitted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself as Chief Minister of Gujarat, and the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). current government. Despite promising to give one and a half times the price to the farmers in the 2014 elections, the Modi government has backtracked.
The United Kisan Morcha would like to remind that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repeal of anti-farmer laws on November 19, 2021, and announced the formation of a committee to look into MSP and other issues. This was also mentioned in the government’s letter of credit dated 9 December. But today even after four months, the government has not constituted the committee. The government had sent a verbal message to the United Kisan Morcha on 22 March that some names should be given to the committee. However, the government remained silent as the Front had sought a written explanation on the composition of the committee, its chairmanship, its TRO (terms of reference) and tenure. Obviously the intention of the government on this question is not clear.
The United Kisan Morcha has also refuted the misconception that farmers are getting more price than the MSP of all crops this season. Wheat prices rose due to Ukraine war, yet wheat prices did not exceed official support price of Rs 2,015 in most markets of the country in the first week of April. Wheat is being sold at low prices in many mandis of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Chana MSP is selling below Rs 5,230 in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Ragi, the main crop of Karnataka, is selling at Rs 2,500 or less, which is much lower than the MSP of Rs 3,377. Same is the case with Kusmu. Castor, urad and winter paddy are also being sold below MSP. (All these figures have been taken from the government’s own website agrimarknet in the first week of April)
The United Kisan Morcha urged farmers and farmers’ organizations across the country to organize at least one program in their respective districts between April 11 and 17 to start preparations for the nationwide agitation on the question of MSP. The Morcha is confident that just as the battle against the three black laws was won, so did the battle for the legal guarantee of the MSP.