Prof Swaminathan urges Govt to implement Farmers’ Commission Report for support price of grains
Prof M S Swaminathan, Agriculture Scientist has urged the Government to accept and implement the Farmers’ Commission Report, with regard to Minimum Support Price for grains set at production cost plus 50% citing the need to safeguard interests of small farmers and the increasing risk of taking up agriculture as a profession due to adverse incidents caused by climate change.
In a statement issued today on the subject, Prof Swaminathan said “Our green revolution has been sustained only because of public procurement of wheat and rice at a fairly reasonable MSP. In the Farmers’ Commission Report, we have recommended that MSP should be the total cost of production plus 50%. Unfortunately a recent Panel set up by the Govt. of India has recommended only a margin of about 10% more than the cost of production. There is no other profession which has such low return. At the same time, farming is the riskiest profession in the world due to uncertain weather conditions arising from climate change. The future will belong to nations with grains and not guns. Further, agriculture is the major livelihood industry in our country. It is our duty to safeguard the interest of small farmers who have limited marketable surplus and this is why I urge the govt. to implement our recommendation that MSP should be set at cost plus 50% return. This is the only way for attracting and retaining youth in farming, for bringing small farmers out of the poverty trap and for ensuring sustainable food security for a projected human population of 1.5 billion.”
His statement comes in the wake of reports that a recent panel set up by the Government of India has recommended only 10% margin over cost of production, which is far lower than what was recommended by the Farmers’ Commission.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.