Farmers demand hike in MSP for agriculture produce

New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) Representatives of various organisations of farmers on Wednesday staged a protest here against what they termed anti-agriculture policies of the central government, and demanded a reasonable hike in Minimum Support Price (MSP) of crops.

“We want the Modi government to implement the recommendations made in the Swaminathan Committee report. A farmer must get the double of the cost incurred in cultivation,” said social and agricultrual activist Medha Patkar, addressing a farmers’ gathering at Jantar Mantar.

“The MSPs of many crops and farm yields are abysmally low and the government needs to increase this substantially. A farmer in Madhya Pradesh gets Rs.6 for papaya which is sold by a retail vendor in metro cities for Rs.60 to 80 per piece. The money is going in pockets of middlemen and hoarders,” she added.

“Government must fix Rs.2,200 per quintal of wheat and Rs.2,000 per quintal of jowar as MSP. We will continue with the protest till it is done,” said Patkar, the Narmada Bachao Andolan and Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghathan convener.

“We along with 300 farmer bodies had organised the protest which was attended by peasantry of 14 states,” Madhuraesh Kumar of National Alliance for Peoples’ Movement told IANS.

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