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94% farmers selling produce on MSP in Chhattisgarh: Gov

New Delhi, Over 94 per cent farmers in Chhattisgarh are getting benefit of the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy and it is expected to rise by two percentage points this year, an official statement said Thursday.

Due to the policies of the state government, the number of farmers selling paddy in the state has increased from 12 lakh to 18.38 lakh, Chhattisgarh Information Centre said in a statement here.

It said 94 per cent of farmers are getting benefit from the state government”s paddy purchase at the support price.

The statement said that due to “farmer-friendly policies of the Bhupesh Baghel government, not only the acreage of agriculture has increased in the last two years, but the people who had abandoned farming as a non-profit business are once again coming back towards farming.”

In Chhattisgarh, where 76 per cent of the farmers sold paddy on MSP in 2017, after the Bhagel government came to power, it has shown an unprecedented growth and the figure reached 92.61 per cent in 2018 and 94.02 per cent in 2019, it said.

This year, over 2 lakh new farmers have registered, so the figure is expected to cross 98 per cent.

Paddy procurement has started in Chhattisgarh on support price from December 1, the statement said.

Over 21 lakh farmers have registered to sell paddy in the state this year and the area where the paddy is sown is more than 27 lakh hectare, it said.

In two years, the area has increased from 19.36 lakh hectare to 22.68 lakh hectare and the number of farmers has also increased from over 12 lakh to 18 lakh, the information centre said.

In the year 2017-18, 56.85 lakh metric tonnes of paddy was purchased at the support price. During two years, this figure of paddy procurement reached 83.94 lakh metric tonnes (MT). Considering the number of farmers registered to sell paddy in 2020 and the area under paddy production, the farmers benefitting from support price are estimated to be higher than the last year, it said.

The chief minister has waived agricultural loan of about Rs 9 thousand crore of over 17 lakh farmers in the state and the irrigation tax of Rs 244.18 crore outstanding on over 17 lakh farmers for years, according to the information centre.

The state government launched the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana from May 21, 2020 to provide farmers their right and fair price for their produce under which Rs 5,750 crore is being given to the 19 lakh farmers in four installments, it said.

So far, direct assistance of Rs 4,500 crore has been given to the farmers in three installments, it added. PTI