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India raises rice, cotton buying prices as farmers' protests mount

Reuters  |  MUMBAI/NEW DELHI 

MUMBAI/(Reuters) - raised minimum purchase for rice, cotton and other crops by the most since Prime Minister Modi came to power in 2014, according a circular seen by Reuters, amid ongoing protests in the country's biggest farming states.

paid to local for common grade paddy rice are to be raised by 5.4 percent to 1,550 rupees ($24.03) per 100 kg for the year starting on July 1, while long staple cotton have been hiked by 3.8 percent to 4,320 rupees per 100 kg.

The increases for rice, cotton and other crops follow an outburst of discontent in the heartland states of Madhya Pradesh and neighbouring Maharashtra as sought higher and debt relief.

Five protesting were shot dead this month in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, which along with Maharashtra is ruled by Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The unrest has posed a challenge to regional BJP leaders and Modi, who have promised to double farmers' incomes over the next five years.

is the world's biggest rice exporter and buys the grain from local to protect them from distressed sales and to build stocks for welfare programmes.

The fixes minimum for more than two dozen farm commodities, although it mainly procures wheat and rice.

Growers of other crops like onions, tomatoes and potatoes are also protesting due to steep falls in the of their produce and the absence of the buying.

The has also raised soybean by 9.9 percent to 3,050 rupees per 100 kg, and corn by 7.1 percent to 1,425 rupees per 100 kg, effective from July 1. The increases for these two grains were also the greatest since 2012/13.

($1 = 64.5125 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav in and Nidhi Verma in NEW DELHI; Editing by Tom Hogue)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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