A farmer covered with a plastic sheet
A farmer covered with a plastic sheet works in a paddy field as it drizzles in the outskirts of Agartala, capital of India's northeastern state of Tripura, September 17, 2012.REUTERS/Jayanta Dey

Just a day after the farmer's agitation demanding higher Minimum Support Price (MSP) and farm loan waiver, the central government on Wednesday increased the minimum support price of Rabi crops for 2018-19. The Union cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the hike in the MSP of wheat by Rs 105 per quintal, masaur Rs 225,/quintal, safflower by Rs 845/quintal, and gram by Rs 220/quintal.

The Indian Express reported that the government has decided to raise the MSP prices on the recommendations of farm advisory body CACP and the hike is in accordance with the center's announcement to give farmers a 50 percent profit over the cost of production.

In a statement released for the media, the cabinet said that "It will give additional return to the farmers of Rs 62,635 crore by way of increasing MSP of notified crops to at least 50 percent over the cost of production and will aid in doubling farmers' income."

It is to be noted that on Tuesday the farmers from several states, including poll-bound Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, clashed with the police forces near Uttar Pradesh border when they were prevented from entering the national capital. The ten-day Kisan Kranti Yatra was intended to end in  New Delhi.

The major demand of the farmers included the implementation of the Swaminathan report, removing an NGT ban on 10-year-old tractors, uniform and complete procurement of crops, uniformity in loan waivers across the country, equal electricity tariff, a farmer-friendly insurance scheme, equal pension to both farmers and agricultural labourers and GST levied on farming equipment.

Farmer Protest
Farmers stage a demonstration against killing of farmers of Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur; in New Delhi on June 15, 2017.IANS

Police had made taken precaution to prevent the farmers from entering the capital and used water cannons and tear gas against the farmers. Clashes were reported at several places. Meanwhile, a delegation of farmers met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister of State for Agriculture, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to table their demands. The delegation was led by Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) general secretary Yudhvir Singh.

Doubling the farmer's income by 2022 is one of the major goals set by the Modi government. But the protest shows that the objectives are not on the right path.