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Centre unveils 5-year plan in fourth round of talks with farmers: What is it? Explained

Farmers' protest: During the fourth round of talks between the government and farmer representatives, a proposal for a five-year commitment to procure pulses, maize, and cotton crops at minimum support prices (MSPs) was presented.

Nitin Kumar Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Published on: February 19, 2024 10:56 IST
Delhi Chalo protest
Image Source : INDIA TV Patiala: Farmers raise slogans in front of security personnel guarding the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border during their Delhi Chalo protest.

During the fourth round of discussions between the government and farmer representatives, a committee of three Union ministers presented a novel proposal advocating for a five-year commitment to procure pulses, maize, and cotton crops at minimum support prices (MSPs) through agreements with farmers. 

Here's a breakdown of the recent developments and the next steps in this ongoing dialogue:

Government presents MSP proposal

Union Minister Piyush Goyal unveiled a significant proposition suggesting that government agencies engage in agreements with farmers to procure pulses, maize, and cotton crops at MSPs for the next five years. This initiative aimed to provide stability and assurance to farmers while promoting agricultural growth in various sectors.

Cooperative societies to play key role

Under the proposed agreements, cooperative societies such as the National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) will commit to purchasing 'tur dal,' 'urad dal,' 'masoor dal,' and maize crops from farmers at MSPs. These agreements will provide farmers with a guaranteed market for their produce and contribute to the revitalisation of Punjab's agricultural landscape.

CCI plans long-term cotton procurement

The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) is gearing up to procure cotton from farmers at MSPs for the next five years. This initiative aims to support cotton farmers and promote the cultivation of cotton in Punjab. Farmers cultivating cotton will have the opportunity to enter into agreements with the CCI, ensuring the procurement of their produce at MSPs.

Farmers evaluate government's proposal

Following the presentation of the government's proposal, farmer leaders indicated that they would deliberate on the offer and consult with their constituents and experts. The decision-making process is expected to conclude by the morning of February 19, with further discussions and negotiations anticipated.

Protests continue amid dialogue

While the dialogue between the government and farmer representatives progresses, farmers remain steadfast in their demands. The ongoing 'Delhi Chalo' march, which commenced on February 13, continued to draw attention to farmers' grievances and the urgent need for policy reforms.

Future of MSP and agricultural policy

The proposal for a five-year procurement plan and discussions surrounding MSPs underscored the significance of agricultural policies in addressing farmers' concerns and ensuring their livelihoods. As the dialogue between stakeholders continues, experts emphasise the importance of sustainable solutions that balance the interests of farmers, government agencies, and consumers.

Also read | Farmers Protest: Union Ministers propose five-year plan at fourth round of talks

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