Punjab farmers meet Pawar; seek higher MSP for paddy

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New Delhi, Sep 29 (UNI) Punjab farmer leaders today met Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar seeking Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy to be increased to Rs 1810 a quintal from the present Rs 850 per quintal pleading that input costs of rice cultivation has trebled.

A delegation led by Bharati Kisan Union (BKU) leader Balbir Singh Rajewal presented a memorarandum to the Minister it says the input costs had increased by 60 per cent recently necessitating a commensurating hike in the MSP.

The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) has already recommended the hiking of MSP for paddy to Rs 1,000 a quintal.

They also sought relaxation of moisture content from 17 to 20 per cent and damage, discoloured grains from four to eight per cent in the specifications laid down for procurment of paddy by FCI which began today. Since the paddy was planted in Punjab after deadline of June 10, fixed by the state government, the paddy grains, maturing in October,will have more moisture content.

The farm leaders also demanded that 1121 Pusa variety of rice be declared Basmati to "save the farmers from exploitation by the traders".

UNI JSS SR VC1908

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