On Wednesday a group of women farmers collected in front of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Delhi to make themselves heard. The farmers carried baskets of their produce to meet the chairman of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) Prof. Vijay Paul Sharma.

The chanted slogans of “Kisaan Ki loot” while protesting against the atrocities that they go through while selling their produce. They staged the protest to demand a fair price for their produce from the CACP who manages Minimum Selling Price (MSP) for the various products.

The products that the women carried were those whose MSP was less than their cost of production. They said that they are in touch with the CACP but to no avail.

“This commission is more concerned about protecting the interests of those who import crops rather than that of farmers.”

“It’s very clear that CACP with its wide terms of interest is defending itself saying it has to balance other interests too. This then means that there is no institution which is ensuring that MSP covers at least the cost of production and then provides a profit margin. It only reinforces how ineffective CACP is protecting farmers’ interest,” told Kavitha Kuruganti, an activist and member of ASHA (Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture), the Logical Indian reported.

Before the 2014 elections, Narendra Modi had promised a margin of 50% on the cost of production. So much so that he had also included it in the party manifesto but he has still to act on his promise.

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However, when asked about the same to the CACP officials, they say that they don’t have the authority. Their recommendation to the farmers is that they should start selling their produce to the traders at a price starting from MSP. This will allow them to earn a better price.

“This commission is more concerned about protecting the interests of those who import crops rather than that of farmers,” said RajBhala, a farmer from Haryana, who spoke to the CACP officials.

Picture Credit: OxFam Blogs

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