Former Union minister Sharad Yadav said today the hike announced by the government in the minimum support price for many crops was "meaningless" without a robust procurement system and just a ritual.
Procurement agencies buy as much produce as they need under the public distribution system, and the government was not concerned about small and poor farmers, Yadav said.
In the absence of a robust procurement system, farmers in states such as Bihar end up selling their produce below the MSP, he claimed.
"Making announcement of an increase in the MSPs of different crops is meaningless and seems to be just a ritual... This increase in the support price is not at all sufficient, and the farmers will not be able to meet the cost of production," the opposition leader said in a statement.
Yadav said a committee headed by senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar had once said that only six per cent of the farmers get the benefits of MSPs.
"Our procurement system needs to be strengthened and middlemen needs to be removed, as farmers take advances from them and then sell their crop through their hands at a low price," he said.
Yadav claimed the farmers in Bihar sold paddy for Rs. 300-1,200 per quintal, while the MSP was Rs 1,550.
They sold maize at a rate less than Rs 850-900 per quintal, while the MSP was Rs 1,425, he claimed.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)