You are aware that around half of the population in our country depends on agriculture as primary occupation and also main source of livelihood.
In addition, agriculture sector contributes significantly to the growth of other sectors of economy both as raw material supplier and also as a consumer of finished goods and services, thus playing a very crucial role in the overall economy of the nation. Therefore, it is very important that we follow progressive, consistent and pro-farmer policies to achieve sustained and high rate of growth of agriculture sector.
Agricultural marketing is one of the crucial areas of support the Central and State governments should provide to the farming community. Therefore, we should have a national food grains procurement policy, which should be uniform throughout the country and cover all food grains. Further, such policy should have suitable statutory backing to ensure its implementation.
However, I am constrained to remind you that there is no uniform national level food grains procurement policy. For example, government of India procures entire marketable surplus of paddy and wheat in some states like Punjab, Haryana but not in other states like Telangana. There should not be different policies of Union Government for different States within the Country.
I strongly recommend that you may convene a meeting with agricultural experts and Chief Ministers to discuss and debate to formulate a suitable National Procurement Policy.
Such inconsistent and uncertain policies of the government of India are causing high degree of frustration and dissatisfaction among the farmers. Our country has witnessed the fury of our farmers in the last two years when Govt. of India has enacted anti-farmers laws. Farmers were feeling helplessness, and aggrieved. Bowing down to the farmer’s agitation, Gol had no option but to repeal those laws.
Overall implementation of the National Food Security Act, enacted by the parliament in 2013, is the responsibility of the Gol. State governments do not have wherewithal like storage capacity, interstate movement of food grains etc. because of which the NFSA 2013 has put the onus on the Gol to procure and supply food grains throughout the country.
On account of various steps like incentives and infrastructure development taken by the Government of Telangana agriculture production has increased substantially. With such high growth in agriculture production, farmers’ suicides and migration has been reduced substantially.
Government of India should procure entire quantity of paddy after meeting the State’s PDS requirements, as per the MoU entered with the State Government. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Gol to procure whatever paddy is available in Telangana. While this has been the practice in the past, I am constrained to bring it your notice that the Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs is disinclining to procure paddy since last two years. We should not ignore the fact that MSP.
implementation and enforcement of National Food Security Act 2013 is primarily the responsibility of Union Government.
Realising the need to diversify the crops, Telangana Government has undertaken several proactive measures to encourage farmers to expand cultivation of cotton, oil palm, red-gram etc. Because of our efforts, paddy cultivation has come down from 52 lakh acres in Rabi 2021 to 36 lakh acres in Rabi 2022. While continuing our efforts on crop diversification, we should procure entire marketable paddy without any restrictions, as it takes long time to achieve the goal of optimum level of diversification.
I once again appeal to you to direct the Ministry of Food, Gol to procure entire marketable surplus of paddy during the current rabi season. Otherwise MSP has no meaning to the paddy growing farmers in Telangana State, also it will have an adverse effect on the farming sector, and on the overall economy and will adversely affect our goal of national food security.
Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister, Government of India, NEW DELHI.