States demand NITI Aayog for effective implementation of MSP on oil seeds and pulses.
One of the primary demands expressed by the states at the seventh meeting of the NITI Aayog’s Governing Council on Sunday was for the effective implementation of the minimum support price (MSP) on oil seeds, the import bill for which is a whopping 1 lakh crore per year.
The states also advocated for better implementation of the MSP on pulses, which the country imports less than 7-8% of its local requirement despite being close to self-sufficiency.
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Suman Bery told the media about the crop diversification, edible oil, and pulses debates, saying, ‘It was the most thoroughly debated topic among the four points.’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed the importance of India becoming self-sufficient in edible oil production during a meeting of the Niti Aayog’s Governing Council.
Making MSP Useful
Niti Aayog Member Ramesh Chand elaborated on the meeting’s talks, saying that two states spoke about making MSP for pulses and oil seeds effective. Furthermore, the Rajasthan Chief Minister stated that if Rajasthan receives better irrigation infrastructure in 13 districts, they will be able to significantly extend the area for mustard cultivation, which will aid in reaching self-sufficiency.
‘The states also discussed how they are extending areas under oil palm agriculture, particularly in the North East.’ They, like Arunachal Pradesh, have set a target of 40,000 hectares. As a result, Arunachal Pradesh will plant 4,000 hectares of oil palm this year. Similarly, Tripura and others. So the key demand was that MSP on beans and edible oil be made more effective,’ he added.
Pulses and oil seeds
Regarding the current pulse situation, Chand stated that India has made significant progress in raising pulse output over the last 5-6 years. In truth, India exports a little amount of pulses while simultaneously importing some.
‘In terms of pulses, we are only deficient in Masoor and, to a lesser extent, Arhaar.’ We are extremely close to self-sufficiency in other types of pulses, thanks to significant growth in chickpea output during the last five years. In the case of pulses, our reliance on imports is less than 7-8%. In the case of edible oils, however, import dependence is about 50%. As a result, an independent mission on palm oil and other oil seeds has been established. ‘The situation with oil seeds is pretty critical in terms of import dependence’ he added.
Diversification of crops
According to Chand, the Prime Minister emphasized the significance of agricultural diversification and self-sufficiency, particularly in edible oils.
‘He claimed that we import edible oils worth 1 lakh crore and that edible oil imports cover approximately half of our need. Almost every state then shared their experiences of how they are moving in the direction of diversification, particularly those states where there is some kind of stress on natural resources, stress on water, such as Punjab and Haryana,’ he continued.
The states also discussed their experiences with the kind of incentives they provide to farmers in order to modify cropping patterns. From Andhra Pradesh to West Bengal, states discussed their successes in raising production, some in pulses, some in edible oil, according to the Niti Aayog member.
‘States offered ideas that if they were aided in a specific way, they could go for diversification much faster,’ he continued.