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‘MSP is the only risk-management instrument available for farmers’: New Study

A new study of agricultural markets termed minimum support price as the only risk-management instrument available for farmers.

Shoumitro Chatterjee, an associate researcher at the Centre for Policy Research in Delhi and lead author of the study said, “We found the price gap between open market sales and public procurement was a significant 30% and deregulation of markets as in Bihar, helped traders, more than farmers as their access to produce improves.” He said, “Erstwhile markets in Bihar remain main produce selling markets but now unregulated and with dilapidated infrastructure whereas in Punjab markets are better.”

The former Union agriculture secretary Siraj Hussain said, “The study clearly outlined that marketing challenges are more pronounced in Bihar where commission charged by middlemen in unofficial markets are much higher than in the regulated markets in Punjab and Odisha.” “The government needs to sit with farmers and assure them of compensation for the income loss due to diversification. This can be done through higher MSP for crop…,” said R Ramakumar, professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai.

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