Question- What is MSP? Critically analyse the role of MSP in agriculture development and food security in India
Answer: Minimum Support Price (MSP) is the minimum price offered by the government for certain crops. The MSP is decided a committee mandated to calculate cost of cultivation by considering all factors.
Need for MSP
- Increase farmers’ income
MSP is calculated by including cost of input, loans, electricity as well as unpaid labor. This will ensure farming remains profitable.
- Food security
The government needs food grains for its PDS scheme. Farmers will sell produce to the government only if they receive higher prices in form of MSP.
Drawbacks of MSP
- Discourage crop diversification
MSP is available for only certain crops. Farmers cultivating these will benefit whereas those diversifying will not. This acts as discouragement.
- Environmental and commercial losses
The environmental cost of growing high MSP providing crops such as sugarcane and paddy is very high. There will be serious shortage of water for consumption.
Government should support farmers in form of infrastructure to diversify crops and ensure that demand and supply remains norm for realising value of agriculture products.
Thus, MSP may prove to be income generator for farmers but the continuous adherence to water intensive crops will have impact on environment.
Tags: GS 3 (Agriculture)
By – Raghunandan