Millennium Post

Agri MoS demands revamp of CACP to meet farmers’ current needs

Minister of State for Agriculture Mohanbhai Kundariya has pitched for reconstitution of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices saying that the body is outdated and needs to be overhauled to operate as per the present ground realities.

The purpose of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), which came into existence in January 1965, was to advise government on agriculture price policy and price structure to raise production and provide relief to consumers. “In an internal communication, the Minister has said that the CACP is outdated. Therefore, it should be reconstituted to operate on present ground realities,” according to sources.

The Minister also said that the Commission should be reconstituted with new terms and references as the existing one was acting far from realities, sources said. The Minister also emphasised on changing the method of calculating the minimum support price (MSP) of farm crops, while expressing concern over marginal increase in MSP that the CACP has been recommending for last few years, they added. Even for the 2015-16 summer (kharif) crops -- sowing of which will begin from June -- the CACP has recommended a modest increase in the MSP of paddy, ragi and other crops. It has suggested an increase of Rs 50 per quintal to Rs 1,410 a quintal in the MSP. 

The country’s more than 80 per cent of paddy is grown in the kharif season. CACP has recommended a hike of Rs 100 per quintal in the support price of ragi to Rs 1,650 and Rs 30 per quintal for groundnut MSP to Rs 4,030. The BJP in its election manifesto had promised to change the parameters for deciding MSP. It had said that the MSP of agri commodities would be set with 50 per cent profit margin for farmers over and above the cost of production. The NDA government is in the process of disbanding obsolete organisations and overhauling some bodies to meet the present needs. 

It has already disbanded Development Council for Sugar Industry (DCSI). The Planning Commission has also been reconstituted and renamed as NITI Ayog, while the government is in the process of overhauling the Food Corporation of India. 

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