Terming the Centre's new agri laws as "farmer-friendly", Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday said only 12 lakh to 13 lakh out of an estimated 80 lakh cultivators in the state sell their crops as per pre-determined minimum support price (MSP). He said many people are spreading "confusion" about the three agricultural-marketing laws enacted a few months ago, but their efforts will not succeed, comments coming on a day when agitating farmers observed a nationwide shutdown to demand a roll-back of the contentious legislations.
"The Centres farm laws are farmer-friendly. These will not only increase farmers' income significantly, but also provide economic security to them. "Procurements (of farm produce) will continue at MSP... there is no question of ending this mechanism. Mandis (agri markets) will also continue to function as usual," Chouhan said.
"Besides, under the new laws, farmers will benefit as they will be able to sell their produce outside existing mandis at competitive prices," the BJP leader said in a statement. The government is committed to safeguard the interest of farmers and the new laws will prove beneficial to them.
"There are about 80 lakh farmers in Madhya Pradesh, but only 12 lakh to 13 lakh of them sell their crops at MSP," he said. Chouhan said Madhya Pradesh has recorded the highest annual growth rate in the agriculture sector among states in the last few years.
"The farmers of MP understand that these new agricultural laws are beneficial to them. Many people are spreading confusion (about the laws), but their efforts will not succeed," he said. The chief minister said the Manmohan Singh government was in favour of amending the APMC Act to facilitate entry of private players in the farm sector.
NCP president Sharad Pawar, as the Union Agriculture Minister under the Congress-led UPA, had written to CMs, underlining the need to amend the Act to encourage private participation in the key sector for overall interest of farmers, he said. Chouhan said more agricultural produce was purchased at MSP during the last six years of the BJP-led NDA government than under the previous UPA administration (2004-2014). PTI ADU MAS RSY RSY 12081921 NNNN.