Government sets support price for paddy


The government has fixed the minimum support price for paddy for the next fiscal year at up to Rs 2,885 per quintal, depending on the variety.

The Cabinet meeting on Tuesday set price of medium-sized paddy at Rs 2,885 per quintal, while support price of thick-sized paddy has been set at Rs 2,735 per quintal. The Cabinet had given nod to the price of the cereal crop recommended by Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) and tabled by Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS).

Officials at the MoALD informed that paddy price has been raised for the next fiscal year compared to this fiscal in line with surge in production cost of the crop. The minimum support price for the current fiscal was set at Rs 2,330 per quintal (medium-sized paddy) and Rs 2,460 per quintal (thicksized paddy).

Meanwhile, it is the first time that the government has set support price of paddy before the completion of plantation of the crop. As the monsoon has begun, paddy plantation is being carried out across the country.

“Though support price of crop has to be generally fixed before their plantation, the government had not been able to do so. However, price of paddy has been fixed before plantation of the crop this time around and this will be continued in coming years,” said an MoALD official seeking anonymity.

Agriculture Minister Ghanashyam Bhusal had earlier announced that the government would ensure that support price for different crops would be fixed on time and assured that farmers will be able to get deserving price and market for their produce.

“Fixing price for paddy before its plantation is a part of commitment made by the leadership at the ministry,” added the MoALD official, adding that support price for every crop will be fixed before their plantation from now onwards.

The support price fixed by the government means that farmers will get a reasonable price for their harvest even if there is a huge drop in farm price. In case the market price of paddy drops below the base rate fixed by the government, the government is liable to purchase paddy from farmers at the support price.

“The government has tried making support price for paddy more scientific based on the actual production cost. This will encourage farmers towards production of the crop,” added the ministry source.

Against the government’s target to produce six million tonnes of paddy in the current fiscal year, production of the crop had fallen for the first time in the last three years to 5.55 million tonnes, primarily due to faulty Garima paddy seeds.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 18, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.