A non-starter

MSP-based procurement policy has outlived its utility

The kharif marketing season is already underway but the government’s much-hyped umbrella programme to provide steeply hiked minimum support prices (MSPs) to farmers appears to be a non-starter. Despite having an aspirational acronym PM-Aasha (meaning “hope” in English), the new Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan has failed to live up to the farmers’ expectations. Most of the 14 kharif crops whose MSPs have been raised to 50 per cent above their production costs are currently selling at 10 to 40 per cent below these rates. The reasons for this subpar ...