Madhya Pradesh government is known for its track record of double digit agricultural growth in the state for more than a decade. Policymakers and critics across the political spectrum have appreciated Shivraj Singh Chouhan government for the double digit GDP growth in agricultural sector. The government has brought another scheme to help farmers under which they could set up processing plants for onion, tomato and soybean. The children of farmers who are above 18 years of age and has passed 10th examination will be eligible for loan up to 25 lakh rupees.
The scheme will be for setting up service centers horticulture products processing and vegetable dehydration plants. There are reservation benefits under the scheme, 50 percent of the subsidy will be given to SC and ST while the remaining 50 percent will be available for general category. MP government has set up a target to set up 1,000 such centers in next three years and plans to raise loan amount to 40 lakh. There are few other new schemes for farmers, last Tuesday the cabinet approved Mukhyamantri Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojna (CM’s Price Deficit Financing Scheme) under which government will compensate farmers if market price of a product falls below MSP. But this scheme does not cover horticulture products.
In recent years, production of the agricultural products has gone up exponentially. But due excessive production, the prices of the products have fallen sharply. Food inflation has been consistently low in last four to five years. Despite good production, farmers have not got their share due to low prices of agricultural products. The problem is that country produces in excess and Indian products are not competitive in international markets. Therefore domestic prices have crashed and government has to support farming with Minimum Support Prices (MSP). Last year MP government had to dump tonnes of onions due to lack of storage facilities.
MP government has solved farmer’s crisis on input front. Accessibility to quality seed, irrigation facilities, credit for input, subsidized fertilizers were made available by Chouhan government is last decade. Now the government trying to solve the problems on output front. After the crops get produced then lays ahead the problem of selling them at good prices. Just after the production, prices of a crop crashes due excessive availability in the market and in later months prices go further up due to low availability. This could be solved by facility of cold storage, the crops could put safely for longer period of time. Prices of crops will neither go up exponentially in short term nor go down just after production season if cold storage facility is available.
The next problem the government is trying to solve is processing. If farmers themselves process the products, value addition which goes to multinational companies for processing will remain at farmer’s disposal. Therefore this scheme to provide loans to farmers children is to set up processing units. Madhya Pradesh has witnessed double digit GDP growth for more than a decade under the instruction of Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The government’s effort solve the problems on output front will definitely lead to another decade of double digit agricultural GDP growth.