Measures to ensure remunerative prices for farmers
The Government procures foodgrains directly from farmers to ensure that farmers are able to get remunerative price for their produce. Before the start of each Marketing Season, Government of India convenes a meeting of State Food Secretaries, Food Corporation of India (FCI) officials and other stake holders to discuss various arrangements made by FCI and State Agencies to ensure payment of Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers for procurement of paddy and wheat from farmers. All the foodgrains conforming to the prescribed specifications offered for sale at specified centers are bought by the public procurement agencies at the Minimum Support Price (MSP). The producers have the option to sell their produce to FCI/State Agencies at MSP or in the open market as is advantageous to them. Foodgrains procured by the State Governments and their agencies are ultimately taken over by the FCI for distribution throughout the country. In consultation with FCI and State Agencies sufficient number of procurement centres are opened during every marketing season to ensure purchase of paddy and wheat from farmers. Review of arrangements are made periodically and if required, additional purchase centres are also opened during the procurement season. This information was given by the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Raosaheb Patil Danve in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.
The Minister said that as on 31.12.2014 the total manpower in FCI in position is 23946 and presently FCI is effectively handling the procurement operations with their support. FCI is also supported by the State Government Agencies in its procurement operations, which in turn involve cooperative societies, self help groups, arthias etc/ in reaching out to farmers.
He said that in order to ensure that the farmers get remunerative prices/MSP for Wheat and paddy, following mechanism have been put in place:
1. Keeping in view the procurement potential areas, procurement centres for MSP operations are opened by Government agencies, both FCI and state Government, after mutual consultations.
2. Farmers are made aware of the MSP operations by way of advertisements like displaying banners, pamphlets, announcement for MSP and specification in print and electronic media.
3. Payment for the wheat and paddy procured from farmers is either made directly to the farmers or through arthias/co-operative societies as per prevailing system of the State. Payment to farmers are also made through A/c payee cheque/electronic mode. Even in respect of paddy purchased by millers, GOI has already advised state Government to ensure payment to farmers by millers/Pvt. traders through A/c payee cheque so that trail of payment can be made while issuing MSP certificate to millers for delivery of levy rice to State Government/FCI.
4. State Governments are encouraged to undertake decentralised procurement, so as to enhance the procurement of food grains.
5. MSP has been enhanced from time to time to encourage delivery of foodgrains into central pool purchase.