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RSS affiliate wants MSP guarantee for farmers, says will push for it in new govt panel

Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, which had reservations about farm laws that were repealed in 2021 after a year-long protest by farmers, lauded govt’s decision to form the MSP committee.

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New Delhi: The Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) wants guaranteed minimum support price (MSP) or remunerative prices for farmers and a ban on the use of unregulated chemical pesticides, said a senior functionary of the RSS affiliate.

BKS organisational secretary Dinesh Kulkarni said the body has a representative in the MSP committee set up earlier this week, and “will put forward our suggestions” before the panel. 

“Our demand is to get a mechanism to ensure that the farmers get a remunerative price and a guarantee [on MSP],” he added. 

Speaking to ThePrint, the BKS said it wants a mechanism in place that will ensure the farmers get government facilities and incentives. 

The BKS, which had reservations about the farm laws that were repealed in 2021 after a year-long protest by farmers, lauded the government’s decision to form the MSP committee. 

The members of the government’s MSP committee — formed to discuss issues related to MSP, a guarantee for which was among the key demands raised by the protesting farmers — include Pramod Kumar Choudhury of the BKS. 

“We are happy that the government has formed a committee and included all stakeholders,” Kulkarni added. “There are representatives of farmers organisations, scientists , researchers, bureaucrats and other field experts.” 

Talking to ThePrint, Choudhury spoke about the BKS’ efforts towards boosting agriculture in the northeast, pointing towards a resolution passed by the organisation in February. 

“We have seen how inadequate the farming infrastructure is across the northeastern states. In some areas, they do not even have basic things like markets or mandis,” he added. “We have passed a resolution that we will also push for better farm infrastructure across the northeastern states.” 

Also Read: Does India have enough rice for welfare schemes and ethanol? What the govt is missing

Promote ‘desi’ ways of farming

The BKS is now looking tom promote several “desi ways of agriculture”. 

Saying that “foreign lobbies” try to promote the idea that Indian farmers were taught about various ways of effective farming by other countries, Choudhury said, “Our ancestors knew everything, they can even sense weather devlopmentents. It is not true that the foreigners, primarily British, taught us. We had all the knowledge in India.” 

It is unfortunate, he added, “to see that farm labourers have been mentioned as unskilled labourers in several government documents”. “Farming is their skill, how can they be unskilled?” 

“We also feel that the government should impose a ban on the relentless and unregulated use of chemical pesticides. We know that there are lobbies working, but our farmers would do better without the fertilisers and pesticides,” he added. 

Another senior functionary of the BKS said the government took unilateral decisions while drafting and implementing the farm laws, but did a good thing “this time by extending invitations to all stakeholders to send their representation” for the MSP committee. 

The BKS and another Sangh affiliate, the Bharatiya Agro Economic Research Centre (BAERC), in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agriculture Research, is organising a conference and workshop on Indian agriculture later this week. 

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)

Also Read: With MSP procurement for first time, ‘tricky’ moong spells good gains in Punjab mandis


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