Govt fixes minimum support price of paddy
Kathmandu, November 13
The government has fixed the minimum support price of paddy for the first time after almost two decades to assure that farmers get a reasonable price for their produce.
While the minimum support price of thick paddy has been fixed at Rs 2,070 per quintal, for medium-size paddy it has been marked at Rs 2,230 per quintal, according to Yogendra Kumar Karki, spokesperson of the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD).
The Cabinet last month had approved the proposal of the Ministry of Supply (MoS) to fix the minimum support price of paddy after continuous complaints from farmers that they were being deprived of a reasonable price for their produce. MoS had prepared the proposal regarding the minimum support price of paddy on the recommendation of MoAD.
Minimum support price is viewed as a market intervention tool from the government to assure that farmers get a reasonable price for their products even if there is a huge drop in farm price. Under this scheme for farmers, even if the market price of paddy drops below the minimum support price, the government will have to purchase paddy from the farmers at the above fixed rates.
The Finance Ministry is said to have allocated Rs three billion for the scheme for different agricultural products. The government had announced it would fix the minimum support price of different agricultural products in the budget speech for fiscal year 2016-17.
“Determining minimum support price of agricultural products is an important move by the government to ensure that farmers get a reasonable price for their produce,” said Karki, adding that it should be encouraged for all agricultural products and has to be continued every year.
As per the statistics of MoAD, total paddy production of the country was 4.3 million metric tonnes last year. However, MoAD presumes that paddy production will reach five million metric tonnes this year following a good monsoon, timely delivery of seeds and favourable weather conditions, among other reasons.
Paddy has been planted this year in almost 1.4 million hectares of land, according to MoAD.