Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy announced the minimum support price (MSP) for 24 agricultural products for the year 2020-21 on Thursday.Turmeric, chillies, onions, minor-millets, paddy, green grams, lentils, peanuts, cotton, bananas, soya beans, sunflowers and others have featured in the list, which the government will buy from the farmers to guarantee them a minimum price.Procurement season for all the crops has been specified even as all the Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBKs) have also been declared as procurement centres.Per quintal, chillies will bought for an MSP of Rs 7,000, turmeric Rs 6,850, lentils Rs 6,000 and green grams Rs 7,196 among others.Within 10 days of purchase, farmers will receive their money."For the first time any government has announced MSP for chilli, turmeric, sweet orange, minor-millets, banana and onion," said Agriculture Marketing Special Commissioner P. S. Pradyumna.He said the state government has announced a very aggressive procurement policy, including arranging procurement centres in every village in view of the coronavirus pandemic."Probably Andhra Pradesh is the first state where a farmer will not be needing to go out of the village to sell his produce," he said.
In some special cases, Padyumna said procurement will also be carried out at the farm gate.According to the marketing commissioner, the state government procured commodities worth Rs 3,300 crore in 2019, buying 8.1 lakh metric tonne, excluding paddy, which is being handled by a separate organization.Set to start from October 15, the government expects to procure up to 3.5 lakh tonne of produce in 2020 - 21.Through the MSP, the government assures farmers that it will purchase their crops even in the event of an uncompetitive price, with preference to small and marginal farmers."The State Government will intervene and procure farm produce through RBK's to create competition in the market to ensure better prices to farmers for their produce," he said.With the procurement policy, the Chief Minister envisages that competition will increase in the market to benefit the farmers to fetch a better price."If needed, the government itself will buy the farmers' produce through RBKs to increase competition for their benefit," said Reddy.However, he appealed to the farmers to bring their produce for procurement with minimum standards.To enable the government to buy their produce, farmers have to register their details on e-karshak and enroll themselves with village agriculture assistants or horticulture assistants at the RBKs.