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Record buying of paddy on MSP, wheat to be similarly procured: Hardeep Puri

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday accused “some people” of “spreading lies, fake propaganda and inciting farmers” against the government by calling the new agriculture laws anti-farmer “despite knowing benefits of these laws for farmers to increase their income”.

Interacting with scientists, professors and senior persons related to agriculture from Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Puri, while elaborating on the steps taken by the government, said there has been an increase in paddy procurement at MSP in Punjab.

“In the ongoing kharif season, Punjab registered unprecedented increase of procurement from 7.4 LMT last year to 26.1 LMT this year as on October 11, more than 251 per cent increase from the Kharif procurement compared to last year.

“The number of farmers who have benefited from paddy procurement at MSP has increased by 72 per cent between 2017-18 to 2019-20,” he said.

Asserting that wheat will also be procured in similar manner, Puri said: “The MSP is going to stay. The current paddy crop is being bought on MSP basis. There has been record buying by government agencies this season. Similarly, wheat will be procured in the season and no farmer will face any issue.”

Puri said legislations “will also create new opportunities for arhityas who can provide better seeds, inputs, knowledge, supply chain assistance apart from their existing roles in mandis. Investments will drive change across the supply chain benefiting all stakeholders to reduce the agriculture wastage which is currently at 30 per cent.”

The number of procurement centers for Kharif season this year increased from 30,549 (2019-20) to 39,130, nearly 30 per cent hike, he said.

“The number of procurement centers (rabi and kharif seasons combined) gone up from 48,550 in 2016-17 to 64,515 in 2019-20, increase of nearly 33 per cent over just four years,” he added.