According to Jai Kisan Andolan, a party associated with the Samyukt Kisan Morcha forum of protesting farm unions, chana dal farmers have lost Rs 140 crore in the first two weeks of March because market prices are below the announced minimum support price (MSP).
According to Jai Kisan Andolan (JKA) founder Yogendra Yadav, if the current trend persists without government interference, chana dal farmers will be “looted” of Rs. 870 crore this year.
The farmers’ group used statistics from the government’s Agmarknet website, which monitors rates at State-run mandis throughout the nation, to indicate that chana dal, or Bengal gram, has been selling at around 400 per quintal less than the MSP average of 5,100 per quintal. In Gujarat, the staple pulse was selling for more than 600 percent less than the MSP. When the shortfall is multiplied by the 32 lakh quintals of dal that entered the market in the first half of March, JKA claims that farmers have already lost Rs 140 crore.
According to Mr. Yadav, such evidence debunks the government’s arguments that “MSP was, is, and will be there.” Farmers were compelled to sell below MSP in fact, resulting in big losses each year, he added.
Avik Saha, the convenor of the Jai Kisan Andolan, said the party would measure farmers’ losses for various crops on a regular basis to demonstrate the government’s statements were false.
Farm unions under the leadership of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha have been holed up on the periphery of Delhi for more than 3 months, demanding the abolition of three farm reform laws as well as a legal promise that all crops will be offered at MSP rates.