Government Announces Hike in Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for Kharif Crops

Government Announces Hike in Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for Kharif Crops
Posted on 10-06-2023

Government Announces Hike in Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for Kharif Crops


India's Union government has recently made an important announcement regarding the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for the upcoming Kharif season. MSPs hold significant importance not only for the farmers and the agricultural sector but also for consumers and the overall food pricing in India. This article provides an overview of MSP, its background, the crops covered, and the reasons why MSPs matter. It also discusses the challenges associated with MSPs and the recent announcement of a hike in MSP for Kharif crops, along with its potential impact on food inflation, government finances, and rural consumption.


Minimum Support Price (MSP) - An Overview:

MSP is a market intervention mechanism introduced by the Government of India to provide a safety net to agricultural producers against sharp price falls during bumper production years. It is a support price announced by the government, sometimes with additional bonus amounts added by state governments. The MSP regime was initiated in 1964 by Lal Bahadur Shastri, and the first MSP announcement took place in 1967. The Agricultural Prices Commission, later renamed as the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), was established to fix MSP for different crops.


Significance of MSPs:

  1. Safety net for farmers: Farmers often face uncertainty about the prices their harvests will fetch in the market. With little bargaining power, if market prices fall below the cost of production, farmers and their families can suffer significant financial losses. MSPs act as a promise from the government to procure crops from farmers at the announced prices, providing them a safety net against adverse market conditions.

  2. Protection for consumers: MSPs also play a crucial role in protecting consumers. In instances where a particular crop, such as cotton, leads to the ruin of many farmers, they are likely to avoid growing that crop in the following season. This reduction in supply can lead to a decrease in overall production, causing prices to rise across different products for consumers.

  3. Influencing production patterns: MSPs can be used to influence the production patterns of different crops. If the government aims to incentivize the production of pulses over paddy (rice), it can offer a relatively higher hike in MSP for pulses compared to paddy. This approach helps align production with the country's agricultural goals.


Government Procurement of Crops at MSP:

Although the government announces MSPs for various crops in both the Kharif and Rabi seasons, it procures only a few crops from selected states. Crops such as paddy, cotton, and pulses are procured at MSP to a limited extent. The procurement of crops at MSP is not widespread, and only a few Kharif crops benefit from this government intervention.


Challenges Associated with MSPs:

Determining MSPs involves a complex trade-off between the interests of farmers and consumers. While a significant increase in MSPs can alleviate farm distress, it may also contribute to food inflation. Balancing these interests becomes particularly challenging due to the political dimension associated with MSP decision-making.


Announcement of MSP Hike for Kharif Crops:

The recent announcement by the government states that MSPs for the Kharif season will increase by an average of 7%. The actual percentage hike ranges from 5% to 10.5%, depending on the crop. Analysts consider this to be the highest MSP increase in the past five years and the second-highest in the last decade.


Impact of the Hike:

  1. Food inflation: The direct impact of this MSP hike on inflation is unlikely to be significant. However, it is important to note that if the normal monsoon is affected by El Nino, it may have an impact on food inflation.

  2. Government finances: Higher MSPs, increased procurement, and the associated costs of storage and disbursal of subsidized food grains can strain the government's financial health. However, studies suggest that this MSP increase will not have a material impact on the government's food subsidy budgeting.

  3. Rural consumption: The 7% increase in MSP may be sufficient to cover the rising production costs for farmers. However, it does not indicate a pre-election populist boost to rural consumption.



The recent announcement of a hike in MSP for Kharif crops by the Indian government carries significant implications for farmers, consumers, and the overall economy. While MSPs provide a safety net for farmers and protect consumers from supply disruptions, they also pose challenges such as potential food inflation. The government's decision to increase MSPs reflects its efforts to support farmers and maintain stability in the agricultural sector. The impact of this hike on food prices, government finances, and rural consumption will be closely monitored in the coming months.

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