The government has increased the kharif MSP by up to Rs 452/quintal, with the highest increases in pulses and oil seeds.


Because their local output is low and worldwide prices have risen, the Centre is attempting to persuade farmers to switch from paddy to these crops.

The Central government increased the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of kharif crops by an average of 3.7 percent for the 2021-21 crop season (July-June) compared to the previous year, with pulses and oilseeds receiving the highest rise to encourage farmers to switch from paddy.

The significantly bigger increase in MSP for kharif pulses and oilseeds comes at a time when both commodities’ prices are substantially higher than last year due to limited output and a rise in international rates.

The MSP for ordinary grade paddy, the most important cereal harvested during the kharif season, has been enhanced by a modest Rs 72 per quintal to Rs 1940 per quintal. (See graph)

“From a strategy standpoint, using MSP as a tool to encourage farmers to switch from water-guzzling paddy to more in-demand pulses and oilseeds is a good idea, but experience shows that the transition is not easy because the climatic conditions required for growing paddy are vastly different from those required for growing tur or urad,” says the author. Former Director of the International Food Policy Research Institute for South Asia, Pramod Kumar Joshi

While paddy is cultivated in high rainfall areas or in well-irrigated portions of the country, tur and urad are cultivated in areas where rainfall is low and irrigation is limited, according to Joshi, who recently served on the Supreme Court’s three-member high-powered panel on the three agriculture acts.

“I believe MSP can encourage farmers in places where tur and urad are cultivated to expand their crop areas, but it will not encourage paddy growers to switch to these crops because the climatic requirements for growing both are completely different,” Joshi added.

The Centre, on the other hand, is optimistic, stating that differential compensation between crops is intended to encourage crop diversification.

A precise plan for both area expansion and productivity development for tur, moong, and urad has been established, according to the official statement, under which all available high-yielding kinds of seeds would be supplied free of charge to increase area.

“In the case of oilseeds, a specific kharif programme has been developed that will bring an additional 0.63 million hectare of land under oilseeds and is expected to generate an additional 12.02 million tonnes of oilseeds and 2.43 million tonnes of edible oils,” according to the statement.