With Rs 20 less MSP for Grade A paddy, state farmers likely to take Rs 330-crore hit

Farmer outfits have been claiming that Punjab would be the major sufferer because majority farmers here grow only Grade A paddy variety.

With Rs 20 less being offerend as Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Grade A paddy variety compared to MSP for the common variety, Punjab’s farmers are set to face a loss of over Rs 1300 per hectare, with the total loss pegged at over Rs 300 crore, claimed the state’s Agriculture Department. Majority of farmers in the state grow Grade A variety. Centre government has raised MSP for Common Paddy Variety by Rs 200 per quintal, whereas MSP of Grade A variety has been raised by Rs 180. Farmer outfits have been claiming that Punjab would be the major sufferer because majority farmers here grow only Grade A paddy variety.

In Punjab, total area under rice cultivation varies between 29 to 30 Lakhs hectares every year. Out of this area the paddy rice (non-Basmati rice but super fine quality) is grown on around 25 lakh hectares while remaining around 5 lakh hectares goes under ‘Basmati’ Rice (Very High quality rice), which does not come under the ambit of MSP.

“In Punjab out of this around 25 Lakh hectares paddy area, the Grade A Paddy variety is grown on around 95 per cent of the area which would make it around 24 lakh hectares of the total area under the Grade A variety….If a farmer would suffer a loss of Rs. 1378.4 per hectare then the total loss on 24 lakh hectares would be around Rs 330 crores and it can go even higher if the average per hectare paddy production increases in the coming season,” said Director, Punjab Agriculture Department, Dr J S Bains, adding that there is very less area where common paddy varieties are grown in Punjab.

The formula is based on average per hectare production of paddy in Punjab was recorded at around 68.92 quintals per hectare last. At Rs 20 less, the total loss per hectares would be Rs 1378.4.

“Punjab is worst hit as it is the highest contributor of super fine quality rice to the Centre, which is aware about it ,” said Bhartiya Kisan Union General Secretary Jagmohan Singh, adding that they will launch a protest soon against this discrimination.

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