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Government Forms Committee to Reinforce MSP Mechanism

The panel will consider measures to develop the Agricultural Marketing System in response to the country's evolving needs in order to assure better value to farmers through remunerative pricing for their goods by capitalizing on local and export prospects.

Kritika Madhukar
The committee will look into measures to make MSP available to farmers
The committee will look into measures to make MSP available to farmers

Nearly eight months after repealing the three contentious farm Acts, the government has formed a high-powered panel led by former agriculture secretary Sanjay Agarwal to make the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism more effective and transparent, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised in his televised address announcing the repeal.

According to a gazette notification, the names of three members of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), the major organization that spearheaded the year-long agitation at Delhi's borders, have been withheld pending reception by the government.

Gunvant Patil, Krishan Bir Singh Choudhury, Pramod Kumar Chaudhary, Gunni Prakash, and Sayyed Pasha Patel are among the farmer groups represented on the panel in addition to SKM.

Patil, Patel, and Bir Singh Choudhury had supported the now-repealed Farm Acts while opposing SKM. According to sources, a few are even close to the current regime.

Agarwal, who will lead the panel, was at the helm when the three agricultural Acts were introduced and were at the forefront of more than ten rounds of discussions between the agitated farmers and the central government throughout the agitation.

Meanwhile, the group includes members from agriculture universities and institutes, among others. The panel's member secretary will be the Ministry of Agriculture's joint secretary (crops).

What Will be the Functions of the MSP Committee?

The committee will propose recommendations to give the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices more authority in order to enhance the agricultural marketing system in line with the country's evolving needs.

It will also deal with natural farming challenges, such as establishing methods for turning Krishi Vigyan Kendras and other research and development institutes into natural farming knowledge centers, as well as developing a network of laboratories for organic certification of natural farming goods.

The committee will look into measures to make MSP available to farmers by making the system more effective and transparent, according to the announcement. It will also recommend the feasibility of granting more authority to the CACP, which determines the MSP of agricultural crops, as well as ways to make it more scientific.

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