The government’s committee on the minimum support price (MSP), natural farming and crop diversification is scheduled to hold its third meeting on October 31 in Bhubaneswar.
In the first meeting held on August 22 in the national capital, the committee — headed by former Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agrawal — had formed three internal sub-groups to deliberate on the mandated topics. The second meeting, held on September 27 in Hyderabad, deliberated on organic farming.
The panel has 26 members including the chairman, while three membership slots are kept aside for representatives of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM). But the SKM has rejected the committee and decided to stay away from the meeting.
“The third meeting will be held at ICAR-Indian Institute of Water Management, Bhubaneswar and will discuss on cross diversification,” one of the members of the committee told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
As per the agriculture ministry’s July 18 notification, the committee has been mandated to give “suggestions to make available MSP to farmers of the country by making the system more effective and transparent”. It will also give suggestions on “practicality to give more autonomy to the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and measures to make it more scientific”.
Besides, it will give recommendations to “strengthen the agricultural marketing system as per the changing requirements to ensure higher value to the farmers through remunerative prices of their produce by taking advantage of the domestic and export opportunities”.
The committee has also been tasked to suggest five points regarding natural farming, besides suggesting programmes and schemes for value chain development, protocol validation and research for future needs and support for area expansion under the Indian natural farming system by publicity and through involvement and contribution of farmer organisations.
The committee has been asked to give suggestions on four points related to crop diversification, which include mapping of existing cropping patterns of agro-ecological zones of producer and consumer states; strategy for diversification policy to change the cropping pattern; arrangement for agricultural diversification and system to ensure remunerative prices; and review and suggestion on micro-irrigation schemes.