Paddy growers deserve higher MSP: Swaminathan

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Hyderabad, Dec 5 (UNI) Maintaining that Minimum Support Price for paddy should be more than wheat in view of cost of production, noted agricultural scientist and Rajya Sabha MP M S Swaminathan, today suggested subsidised inputs for those farmers, who sell their produce to government agencies at a lower price than that in the international market.

Delivering the Administrative Staff College of India second Golden Jubilee lecture on 'Indian Agriculture Today', the Rajya Sabha member said ''the paddy growers deserve a higher MSP as the cost of production is more.'' Farmers should not be allowed to feel ''cheated'' whenever the Centre had to import foodgrains at a much higher price than that paid to the farmers, he said, suggesting issuance of 'smart card' to such farmers so that they could be provided with vital farm inputs of good quality at concessional price.

While fixing the MSP, at least 50 per cent profit should be included so that the farmers continued in their profession and provided the country the vital food security, he said.

The country could produce 100 million tonnes of wheat by 2015 by stepping up the average yield, from 25 million hectares by defending the gains made in the ''fertile crescent of Punjab, Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh and making newer gains by tapping large untapped yield reservoir in Eastern, Central and Western regions of the country, he said.

For achieving ''evergreen revolution'', he prescribed organic agriculture with components, including integrated pest, nutrient and natural resource management.

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