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Rs 35,968 crore! Is the estimated amount that Indian farmers growing seven major kharif cereal and pulses that includes paddy, maize, soybean, groundnut and cotton stand to lose this year because of prices falling below the government-fixed Minimum Support Prices (MSP). The figure could swell to over Rs 2,00,000 crore if the loss is estimated from the actual cost of production plus 50 per cent profit as assured by the NDA government in 2014 General Election, a calculation done by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), a conglomeration of over 150 small and big farmers organisations said. “The number would be much more if more crops including perishable items such as potatoes and onions are considered,” President of Swaraj Abhiyan, Yogendra Yadav, who is also part of AIKSCC said. The loss estimates have been arrived at by multiplying the projected arrival of seven major kharif crops in mandis of major producing states with the difference between the average mandi price and the state-declared Minimum Support Price (MSP).
The average mandi price has been arrived at from 100 major mandis for each crops over a period of time.The crops which have been included to arrive at the figure of around Rs 36,000 crore are paddy, maize, bajra, soybean, groundnut, cotton, urad dal. The amount to be sold (marketable surplus) was arrived at by deducting estimate of own consumption from the production estimates. “When compared to Comprehensive Cost of Production (C2), the current mandi price of most kharif crops is much below that, which shows that farmers aren’t getting a decent return on their investment,” Yadav said. To highlight their plight almost 50,000-100,000 farmers are scheduled to come together in and sit on day-long kisan sansad (farmers’ Parliament) on November 20 in Delhi. The agitation and sit-in which would be second such gathering after one held few months back will highlight the plight of farmers from across the country and also have sessions on role of women farmers and youth in making agriculture profitable. “Farming today is in crisis and multiple efforts are needed to address it,” former Parliamentarian and General Secretary of All Indian Kisan Sabha said. That apart, the AIKSCC has decided to adopt innovative ways which includes selfie of the price fetched to be sent with a hastag #kisankiloot.